(CIDRAP News) Last month, officials in Italy and Canada aroused concern by announcing they had found an H5N1 influenza virus in wild birds. Neither country had previously been troubled by any reports of the virulent H5N1 virus that has been plaguing poultry and occasionally sickening and killing humans in Asia.
But in both cases, health officials said the virus was not dangerous and was unrelated to the H5N1 virus in Asia.
(CIDRAP News) – National health officials came to Minnesota today to launch what was billed as the first of 50 state pandemic influenza planning meetings around the nation, emphasizing the key roles of state and local governments as partners with the federal government.
The general theme of the half-day conference was that much, if not most, of the real work of preparing for a pandemic must be done at the local and state levels.
(CIDRAP News) Romania has reported three new outbreaks of avian influenza this week, while a mild strain of avian flu has surfaced in North Carolina turkeys, according to news services.
Dozens of chickens were found dead in the southeastern Romanian villages of Bumbacari and Dudescu, which lie outside the Danube River delta, according to Agence France-Presse and Bloomberg News reports. The viral strain was not listed.
(CIDRAP News) The next infectious disease to enter the United States might cross the border taped to a traveler's leg or tucked snugly under a tourist's hat.
Smuggling of wild animals has always posed hazards to human health, but the stakes may be getting higher today, given the role of animal hosts in lethal outbreaks such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and avian influenza.