Low pathogenic bird flu confirmed: Montana
The US Departments of Agriculture and the Interior reported over the weekend
that testing on samples collected from wild Northern pintail ducks in Montana
confirmed the presence of a low pathogenic H5 avian influenza
The agencies stressed that low pathogenic bird
has been detected in birds in other states and is not a direct risk to
Initial test results announced last month indicated the presence of avian
influenza in the Montana samples, but further testing was necessary to confirm
the subtype and pathogenicity of the virus.
These tests ruled out the possibility that the samples carried the
dangerous, highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus. Highly pathogenic strains
- including H5N1, which is circulating in parts of Asia, Europe and Africa - can
be fatal to birds and humans.
Although the low pathogenic virus poses no direct threat to human health, USDA
policy is to attempt
to contain the strain - in case of a mutation into highly pathogenic avian flu,
and because the presence of any strain of avian influenza can affect
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