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E. Researchers Address the Risk of an Avian Flu Pandemic

Narrator: This is Science Today. Although no cases of avian flu have been documented in humans in the United States , Terra Kelly, a wildlife veterinarian at the University of California , Davis , says there is the possibility of transmission through migratory birds infecting domestic poultry or waterfowl.

 Kelly: Or people coming over from Asia that are infected or have infected or contaminated luggage or other things that avian influenza virus that is causing illness and death in people in Asia could arrive in the United States and potentially be passed from human-to-human form and cause what everyone is calling a pandemic avian influenza.

Narrator: Kelly says although the risk is small now in people in North America , UC Davis has established a detection system along the Pacific flyways to look for and monitor for avian influenza viruses in waterfowl.

Kelly: Because waterfowl are reservoirs of avian influenza viruses and one of the ways that it can enter the United States from outbreaks in Asia is through waterfowl populations migrating down the Pacific flyway.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.