US spends $1 million for AI testing in Pacific

22-09-2006 | |

The United States has allocated one million US dollars to conduct the first avian flu tests among migratory birds in the Pacific.

There are several bird flu strains, but it is the so-called H5N1, which is feared because of its potential to mutate and trigger a human influenza pandemic.
Radio New Zealand International reports the flu tests would focus on Hawaii, the Mariana Islands, Palau, the Marshall Islands and American Samoa, with thousands of birds to be tested.
Dr. Jeff Burgett, at the Hawaii-based US Fish and Wildlife Office, said the budget has been allocated only for this year, but he hopes the tests will be repeated every year.