Wildlife Refuge looking for flu’s clues

Published 12:15 am Thursday, September 3, 2009

As the rest of the world fixates on the swine flu, a group of field technicians and St. Catherine Creek Wildlife Refuge employees were looking for a different strain of the virus — the avian flu. Technicians were trapping sandpipers and other shorebirds to test for the H5N1 strain of the flu to better understand the transmission of the virus. Because of their migratory patterns from as far north as Alaska and northern Asia to as far south as the Southern Hemisphere, the birds are excellent studies for the transmission of the avian flu. It is suspected that many of these birds contract the disease from Korea and northern Asia and could spread the disease along their migratory journeys. Bird so far collected in the study have not tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

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