ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Bird Flu Defies Control Efforts

by 5m Editor
27 March 2006, at 12:00am

US - The culling of flocks has failed to slow the rapid spread of the virus, due in North America this year. Vaccination of poultry is under study. The spread of avian influenza to at least 29 new countries in the last seven weeks — one of the biggest outbreaks of the virus since it emerged nine years ago — is prompting a sobering reassessment of the strategy that has guided efforts to contain the disease. Since February, the virus has cut a wide swath across the globe, felling tens of thousands of birds in Nigeria, Israel, India, Sweden and elsewhere. Health officials in the United States say bird flu is likely to arrive in North America this year, carried by wild birds migrating thousands of miles to their summer breeding grounds. The speed of its migration, and the vast area it has infected, has forced scientists to concede there is little that can be done to stop its spread across the globe. &quot;We expected it to move, but not any of us thought it would move quite like this,&quot; said Dr. David Nabarro, the United Nations&#39; coordinator on bird flu efforts. The hope was once that culling millions of chickens and ducks would contain or even eradicate the virus. Now, the strategy has shifted toward managing a disease that will probably be everywhere. Officials are hoping to buy a little more time to produce human vaccines and limit the potential economic damage. <i>Source: LA Times.com</i>

5m Editor