Sunday, January 15, 2006

Alaska: On the Lookout as Avian Flu Spreads

Beneath a dim morning sky, Jonathan Runstadler trudged across the ice with a long fiberglass tube, some gardening tools and a smattering of plastic lab bottles. Months earlier, summer breezes had carried wild birds from Asia to this little pond. Now, with the temperature at 9 degrees, Runstadler bored through the frozen surface in search of the seeds of a pandemic.

In Alaska, scientists such as Runstadler are searching for traces of H5N1 in bird droppings left from the summer breeding season. They could be preserved in now-frozen water or soil.

"It's just a matter of time before H5N1 shows up everywhere," said George M. Happ, a UA biologist who is coordinating the state's pursuit of the virus. Read More ....

Source: Los Angeles Times via ADN
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