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US Finds Low-Risk H5N1 Bird Flu Strain In Ducks (Maryland)
Reuters ^ | 9-1-2006 | Charles Abbott

Posted on 09/01/2006 3:37:15 PM PDT by blam

U.S. finds low-risk H5N1 bird flu strain in ducks

Fri Sep 1, 2006 5:43pm ET

By Charles Abbott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mallard ducks in Maryland have tested positive for bird flu, apparently a common, less pathogenic strain that poses no risk to humans, the U.S. Agriculture and Interior departments said on Friday.

The H5N1 avian influenza virus was found in fecal samples from "resident wild" mallards in Queen Anne's County in Maryland, on the U.S. central Atlantic coast.

"Testing has ruled out the possibility of this being the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa," said USDA in a statement. "Test results thus far indicate this is low pathogenic avian influenza, which poses no risk to human health."

Five to 10 more days will be needed for definitive tests to confirm whether low-pathogenic H5N1 bird flu was found in the United States for the second time this year. On August 14, the virus was found in two mute swans in Michigan. Scientists say low pathogenic avian influenza commonly occurs in wild fowl.

The Maryland mallards did not appear sick so the samples, collected on August 2 as part of a research project, were not given high priority when sent to USDA labs for testing.

"The birds are alive and well," said a USDA spokeswoman.

The low-pathogenic strain of H5N1 has been found six other times in the United States since 1975. Mild and low pathogenic strains of bird flu are common in the United States and other countries.

The H5N1 bird flu strain has killed an estimated 141 people and forced hundreds of millions of birds to be destroyed, mostly in Asia. As a precaution, the U.S. government stepped up testing of wild birds for avian influenza in the continental United States this year.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: avianflu; bird; ducks; finds; flu; h5n1; lowrisk; maryland; strain; us

1 posted on 09/01/2006 3:37:19 PM PDT by blam
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To: Smokin' Joe; LucyT

Ping.


2 posted on 09/01/2006 3:37:51 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Is testing that sporadic, or is H5N1 not following any discernable migratory pattern? I've been under the impression that we'd begin to see infected birds first in Alaska, then spreading southward.


3 posted on 09/01/2006 4:12:22 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
"I've been under the impression that we'd begin to see infected birds first in Alaska, then spreading southward."

That's what I've read also. They expect to start seeing the 'high-risk' H5N1 in Alaska sometime in September.

4 posted on 09/01/2006 4:15:36 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

It's a strain all right.


5 posted on 09/01/2006 4:18:20 PM PDT by bkepley
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To: 2ndreconmarine; Fitzcarraldo; Covenantor; Mother Abigail; EBH; Dog Gone; ...

Low path ping...


6 posted on 09/01/2006 6:26:53 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Thanks for the ping Smokin' Joe.


7 posted on 09/01/2006 6:33:48 PM PDT by fatima
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To: blam
There are some populations of Mallards who live in Maryland year-round. I recall these as a kid.

I am not sure if by "resident wild" Mallards this is what they are referring to.

I suppose it is possible that the low path version has been under the proverbial radar due to a relative lack of testing (the birds appear healthy, so why test them in an 'ordinary' year?) and is endemic to these birds as a local population as well. There is just not quite enough information in the article to really sort that out.

8 posted on 09/01/2006 6:37:53 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: fatima

You're welcome, fatima!


9 posted on 09/01/2006 6:38:29 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
"I suppose it is possible that the low path version has been under the proverbial radar due to a relative lack of testing (the birds appear healthy, so why test them in an 'ordinary' year?) and is endemic to these birds as a local population as well. There is just not quite enough information in the article to really sort that out."

Yup. I had similar thoughts.

10 posted on 09/01/2006 6:40:01 PM PDT by blam
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To: Gabz
The H5N1 avian influenza virus was found in fecal samples from "resident wild" mallards in Queen Anne's County in Maryland, on the U.S. central Atlantic coast.

A Delmarva ping? I am assuming that this low-pathogenic variant is not the nightmare scenario for the Delmarva poultry industry that the highly lethal H5N1 varient is, but it bears watching.

As if we don't have enough to worry about this weekend! Right now I'm on backup dialup connection because Comcast is toast all over the mid-Shore, and there are electricity outages all over the place.

11 posted on 09/01/2006 7:09:33 PM PDT by Heatseeker
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To: Heatseeker; confederacy of dunces; Pyro7480; Dustbunny; Godebert; BykrBayb; WanderingOisin; ...

I was just about to ping the crew.......

This will probably not pose much of a threat to the industry, but it is good to know about it. Forewarned is forearmed.

You're right, DelMarVa folks have a bit more important things to worry about right now.......I got my power back around 5 and I think it is finally quit raining........but the power outages and flooding are very bad. My place is not prone to flooding, but I have one field totally underwater, so I imagine places prone to flooding are in seriously bad shape. One of my phone lines is out, and so hubby is not happy about not being able to get online.....and a friend just told me the cable is out. We have Dish and so are not having a problem.


12 posted on 09/01/2006 7:23:11 PM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: Smokin' Joe
Just FYI (and not that they will necessarily cover it much better) but one of the nearest media outlets with a web presence is the Easton, Maryland based Star Democrat in neighboring Talbot County. Nothing there now; they are typically not an up-to-the-minute operation.
13 posted on 09/01/2006 7:24:07 PM PDT by Heatseeker
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To: Smokin' Joe; blam
I am not sure if by "resident wild" Mallards this is what they are referring to.

Yes that is what they are referring to, the year round populations of them, there are also large resident wild populations of Canada Geese all over the DelMarVa peninsula.

14 posted on 09/01/2006 7:25:08 PM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: Gabz
Sorry Gabz, I should have known you'd be on top of it.

Glad to hear you've still got power and connectivity. Still no cable here and the power is starting to flicker, so I think I'm gonna go offline for awhile.

As for this story, I would guess the biggest threat would be to the autumn hunting and guiding business if people get spooked.

15 posted on 09/01/2006 7:28:00 PM PDT by Heatseeker
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To: Heatseeker

You stay safe and dry.


16 posted on 09/01/2006 7:30:25 PM PDT by Gabz (Taxaholism, the disease you elect to have (TY xcamel))
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To: Gabz

Thanks for the ping!


17 posted on 09/01/2006 7:33:43 PM PDT by Abby4116
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To: Smokin' Joe

Would the low pathogenic variety give any immunity to the population if the virulent strain appeared???


18 posted on 09/01/2006 8:37:41 PM PDT by Battle Axe (Repent for the coming of the Lord is nigh!)
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To: Battle Axe
Would the low pathogenic variety give any immunity to the population if the virulent strain appeared???

Frankly, I do not know what, if any immunity might be conferred upon birds which had a low path variety.

19 posted on 09/01/2006 9:11:45 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Smokin' Joe; LucyT
Low-risk H5N1 bird flu found in Pennsylvania ducks

Sat Sep 2, 6:10 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mallard ducks in Pennsylvania have tested positive for a low-pathogenic strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus, the U.S. Agriculture and Interior departments said on Saturday, adding to cases detected recently in Maryland and Michigan.

A strain of the H5N1 avian influenza virus was found in wild ducks sampled August 28 in Crawford County in northwestern Pennsylvania.

"Testing has ruled out the possibility of this being the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa," USDA and Interior said in a statement. "Test results thus far indicate this is low pathogenic avian influenza, which poses no risk to human health."

The government said it was conducting additional tests to determine, in part, if the ducks had H5N1 or two separate strains with one virus contributing H5 and the other N1. A second round of tests could take five to 10 more days to confirm whether it was the low-pathogenic H5N1 bird flu.

The virus also has been found during the last month in Michigan and on Friday in Maryland. The Maryland mallards did not appear sick so the samples, collected on August 2 as part of a research project, were not given high priority when sent to USDA labs for testing.

The U.S. departments of Agriculture and Interior are working with states to collect between 75,000 and 100,000 wild bird samples in addition to more than 50,000 environmental tests throughout the United States.

A low-pathogenic strain, which produces less disease and mortality in birds than does a high-pathogenic version, poses no threat to humans. It is common for mild and low pathogenic strains of bird flu to appear in the United States and other countries.

The latest H5N1 bird flu strain in Asia, Europe and Africa is known to have killed at least 141 people and forced hundreds of millions of birds to be destroyed.

20 posted on 09/02/2006 6:42:52 PM PDT by blam
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To: Smokin' Joe; LucyT
Bird flu expected to hit U.S. in 2 years

By Jim Maniaci
Cibola County Bureau
New Mexico

GRANTS — The world's most deadly flu epidemic is expected by the best guesses currently available to hit the U.S. within two years.

This was the warning given to the Grants-Milan Rotary Club on Tuesday by a University of New Mexico specialist helping organize pilot projects in two of the state's 33 counties, Cibola and Grant.

Meetings in the area will take place from September to November, Margo White said. The sessions are aimed at "turning a paper plan into a community effort... You don't know how many talents you have to share from the group itself, (talents) which will be needed. We won't have the system as usual; we won't have life as usual."

White said, "You don't want to be exchanging business cards at the time the disaster starts. You need to know people in the community, and who does what beforehand. You need to develop your talents and your skills, including time care. The hospitals cannot manage it. They will have their limited capacity.

"Everyone in the community will need to work together, to be supportive when school closes, when students are home, when child care is no longer possible. In the community, people will be on their own. Helping others who can't stockpile, you should be able to do it. I don't have a lot of solutions, but people will come up with solutions, given the opportunity to do it."

Vince Ashley, Cibola General Hospital's administrator, said his staff has been stockpiling so much of what will be needed, for instance masks, that CGH has run out of storage space.

"We'll look like a fortress," he predicted, because everyone entering will have to be screened. With a staff which he expects will be decimated by the deadly illness, he said emergency triage ranking patients in the order to be treated based on their condition will have to be imposed.

White repeated what might happen, as well as her theme of everybody has to help everybody else, many times.

She also distributed a sheet on the characteristics and challenges. It said in the 20th Century the U.S. lost a half-million people in the 1918 flu pandemic the shorter term used to describe a world-wide epidemic with 70,000 Americans dying from the flu in 1957 and 34,000 in 1968.

White said the problem is "unprecedented."

The virus H5N1 infects birds, which fly long distances. Wild birds can infect domestic flocks and then get passed on to humans when they come into contact with the domestic birds.

She compared a virus to a bunch of hoodlums who go into an expensive neighborhood looking for clothing because they expect to find huge closets in a big house. "They mix and match and swap until they get what they want," she said.

And when they depart they trash the place because, "It's all they know how to do."

Because of, among other things, the world's transportation system, it will spread widely, health care systems will be overloaded, medical supplies will be inadequate and there will be disruptions to the economy and society. For instance, she said, schools will have to be shut down and automatic teller machines will run out of currency because there won't be enough people to refill them.

She called the situation "an opportunity to begin to mobilize all the resources that you have and all the known skills, unknown skills, forgotten skills (such as) preserving and canning food, developing new capacities for home care that we all can learn."

The flu is expected to hit in two or three waves, each lasting up to two months, he cautioned.

21 posted on 09/02/2006 7:32:33 PM PDT by blam
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To: Judith Anne
Doctor says Tamiflu not to blame for Indonesian woman's miscarriage

The Associated Press
Published: September 1, 2006

JAKARTA, Indonesia A woman who miscarried after taking Tamiflu is being monitored by health officials, but her doctor said there was no evidence the anti-bird flu drug was to blame.

The World Health Organization and the Swiss-based drug manufacturer Roche Holding AG say they have inadequate data on the use of Tamiflu in pregnant women, so the significance of the miscarriage was not immediately clear.

Rumintan Lingga was two months pregnant when she was admitted to Adam Malik Hospital in North Sumatra's capital Medan on Aug. 22, said Dr. Nur Rasyid Lubis, adding that although she had symptoms of bird flu she later tested negative.

The 35-year-old woman came from an area hard hit by the disease so was given Tamiflu as a precaution, he said, adding that he did not believe her miscarriage had anything to do with the drug.

Lingga was "bleeding from her womb" when she arrived at the hospital and the fetus "was very weak," he noted.

The H5N1 bird flu virus has killed 141 people across the globe since ravaging Asian poultry stocks three years ago, including 46 in Indonesia, making it the country worst affected by the disease.

The WHO says that until more data on pregnant women is available, Tamiflu should only be prescribed when the potential benefit to the mother justifies the possible risk to the unborn child.

JAKARTA, Indonesia A woman who miscarried after taking Tamiflu is being monitored by health officials, but her doctor said there was no evidence the anti-bird flu drug was to blame.

The World Health Organization and the Swiss-based drug manufacturer Roche Holding AG say they have inadequate data on the use of Tamiflu in pregnant women, so the significance of the miscarriage was not immediately clear.

Rumintan Lingga was two months pregnant when she was admitted to Adam Malik Hospital in North Sumatra's capital Medan on Aug. 22, said Dr. Nur Rasyid Lubis, adding that although she had symptoms of bird flu she later tested negative.

The 35-year-old woman came from an area hard hit by the disease so was given Tamiflu as a precaution, he said, adding that he did not believe her miscarriage had anything to do with the drug.

Lingga was "bleeding from her womb" when she arrived at the hospital and the fetus "was very weak," he noted.

The H5N1 bird flu virus has killed 141 people across the globe since ravaging Asian poultry stocks three years ago, including 46 in Indonesia, making it the country worst affected by the disease.

The WHO says that until more data on pregnant women is available, Tamiflu should only be prescribed when the potential benefit to the mother justifies the possible risk to the unborn child.

22 posted on 09/03/2006 7:03:13 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
The government said it was conducting additional tests to determine, in part, if the ducks had H5N1 or two separate strains with one virus contributing H5 and the other N1.

This makes more sense to be. How can the same virus -- H5N1 -- be both highly pathogenic and low-pathogenic?

23 posted on 09/03/2006 7:09:22 AM PDT by ContraryMary (New Jersey -- Superfund cleanup capital of the U.S.A.)
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To: ContraryMary; Judith Anne
"This makes more sense to be. How can the same virus -- H5N1 -- be both highly pathogenic and low-pathogenic?"

It'll take someone smarter than me to explain it. Judith Anne is a good place to start...I've pinged her.

24 posted on 09/03/2006 7:12:34 AM PDT by blam
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To: ContraryMary

Think of H5N1 as a species of virus. Just as hummingbirds can be Ruby-throated, Anna's, Allen's, or other types, but still be hummingbirds, so H5N1 can have different sub-types, some of which are dangerous and some not.


25 posted on 09/03/2006 10:13:59 AM PDT by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: blam
It's always something.

Fears Of Extreme TB Strain - New Drug-Resistant Infection Is 'Nightmare' Say Health Experts

"The strain - known as extreme drug-resistant TB - has horrified World Health Organisation doctors. In one outbreak in South Africa, 52 of 53 patients died within weeks of becoming infected."

26 posted on 09/03/2006 3:29:57 PM PDT by blam
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