A. Researchers Monitoring for Avian Influenza Outbreaks
This is Science Today. Avian influenza, or bird flu, is a contagious viral infection found primarily in wildlife birds that, if passed on to domestic waterfowl or poultry, can potentially infect humans. Dr. Terra Kelly, a wildlife veterinarian at the University of California , Davis , says even though humans have yet to be infected in the United States , there's a growing concern around the country that a deadly strain of avian flu could potentially turn into a quick-moving pandemic among humans.
There is a possibility that through methods of transmission, whether it be from migratory birds coming into the United States along the flyways and potentially infecting poultry or people coming over from Asia that are infected. One of the ways that it can enter the United States from outbreaks in Asia is through waterfowl populations migrating down the Pacific flyway, so UC Davis has established with collaborators a detection system along the flyways in the United States to look for and monitor for avian influenza viruses.
For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.