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Wild birds help to create human flu vaccine

Agriculture Veterinary Department, and the Mongolian Ministry of Health Center for Communicable Diseases with Natural Foci - searched for birds from the Gobi Desert to the northern mountain lakes of the country and collected samples from hundreds of wild birds, both live and dead including, ruddy shelduck, herring gull, black-headed gull, bar-headed goose, and whooper swans, all species that have been affected by the disease.

"The collaboration of national and international agencies and groups in Mongolia provides a solid example of how the threat of avian influenza can be monitored and countered ," said Joseph Domenech, F.A.O.'s Chief Veterinary Officer. "Effective teamwork on all levels is our best defense against this potential pandemic."

The multidisciplinary, collaborative response to this latest outbreak reflects the WCS 'One World-One Health' approach to making informed, multidisciplinary decisions on global health crises that intersect human, wildlife, and livestock health. Wildlife and health experts, including F.A.O. and the World Organization for Animal Health, maintain that indiscriminate culling of wild migratory bird populations would be ineffective in preventing the spread of avian flu. Wild birds, some of which are critically threatened or endangered are also being impacted directly by the H5N1 strain of influenza virus. Focusing resources on the hubs and activities where humans, livestock, and wildlife come into close contact is the best hope for successfully preventing the spread of avian flu and protecting both people and animals. To contain this potential epidemic, prevention activities must include better management practices in farms, especially those that are small and open-air where domestic poultry and waterfowl are allowed to intermingle with wild birds, and the use of effective vaccines as required, as expounded by the U.N.'s F.A.O. Officials would also need to monitor wildlife markets where wild and domesticated spe
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Source:Wildlife Conservation Society


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