Samples collected by WCS in international collaborative effort to ID, contain disease
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has positively identified the pathogenic form of avian flu--H5N1--in samples taken from birds last week in Mongolia by field veterinarians from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). It is the first instance of this viral strain occurring in wild migratory birds with no apparent contact to domestic poultry or waterfowl.
Present in Mongolia for a health survey of wild bird populations in the south and north of the country, WCS field vets Drs. William Karesh and Martin Gilbert responded to initial reports of the most recent avian influenza outbreak in Kovsgol Province near the Russian border from the Mongolian Ministry of Food and Agriculture, which conducted preliminary testing of birds that died at Erkhel Lake. Their finding coincided with confirmations of cases of avian influenza in Russia and Kazakhstan. Karesh and Gilbert immediately traveled to the site with a team of Mongolian virologists, veterinarians, and public health officials. Approximately 100 dead birds were found at the site.
John Delaney | EurekAlert!
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