U.S. will step up flu-testing efforts in migrating birds

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Scientists will study live birds, others that are found dead or killed by hunters, and environmental samples that might carry the worrisome form of bird flu. The goal is to test 75,000 to 100,000 live or dead birds this year, said Angela Harless of the USDA. The testing, which will also cover some Pacific Ocean islands, will focus on waterfowl and shorebirds. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – The federal government, boosting its effort to look for bird flu in migratory birds, plans to test five to six times as many birds this year alone as it has screened since 1998. Much of the effort will focus on Alaska, where scientists worry that birds arriving from Asia, beginning next month, will bring in the H5N1 virus and pass it along to other birds, which will fly south this fall. While other migratory paths will also be studied, most concern about birds flying south through the United States focuses on their Pacific route in the Western states, said John Clifford, chief veterinarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is working with other agencies on the program. Scientists had already been watching for the deadly flu strain in wild birds in Alaska and North American migratory flyways, Clifford said, but the effort is being dramatically stepped up this year. last_img