Readers respond

Are we so sure wild birds aren?t the culprit with avian flu? And why dedicate years of work to exposing a suspected fraud?

Alex Avery and Bruce L. Flamm
Feb 27, 2006
To the Editor:In a recent news story, Alex Kaat with Wetlands International (WI) seems awfully sure that wild birds didn't bring avian flu to Nigeria and won't spread it from there to Europe. So, scientifically, why is he so sure it won't spread to Europe via the ducks? Do they not fly from Africa back to Europe? From my understanding, many wild water fowl -- especially ducks -- show few if any signs of avian flu infection and spread the virus via their feces, which can be dropped en route onto non-wetland areas. In fact, in Eurasia, avian flu is spread via wild birds.Are WI or any of their partners testing the Nigeria/African ducks in any numbers to see if the population is harboring the virus? Are they only testing the birds that drop dead (i.e. swans in Italy and Greece) and not living populations of other birds/waterfowl?Alex Avery...
aavery@cgfi.organalysis of viral strainsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesalex.kaat@wetlands.orgrecent blogJournal of Reproductive Medicine recently concludedbruceflamm@aol.comThe Scientisthttp://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23120/PNASPM_ID: 16473931The Scientisthttp://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23128/Journal of Alternative and Complementary MedicinePM_ID: 16398584

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?