Bird flu virus carried by sparrows
Chinese scientists recently reported that they found
the H5N1 bird flu virus in sparrows two years ago, the first time the virus has
been detected in the common, non-migratory bird on the Chinese mainland.
Institute of Virology
in central China tested excrement samples from 38
sparrows after an outbreak of bird
in a county in Henan Province in 2004. Some of samples tested positive
of H5N1 virus, said Li Tianxian, a researcher with the institute.
Chinese officials have in the past blamed outbreaks of bird flu in the
country on migratory birds, but the findings indicate that the virus could also
be among local birds common in urban areas.
In late September and early October, China reported two new outbreaks of
bird flu in poultry, which killed at least 2,000 domestic fowl in Inner Mongolia
and Ningxia Hui. The quarantine
imposed on Inner Mongolia
where the outbreak occurred was lifted this
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