- "Germany probably had avian flu
for some months before tests earlier this week confirmed that dead birds
had carried the virus
- Till Backhaus, from the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
where the birds were found, said the affected mute swans were not migratory
and tended to stick to one area.
- "This is why I assume ... that the
virus must have been introduced in autumn
- German authorities said on Wednesday
that two swans and a hawk found on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen were
infected with H5N1
- Local officials said on Wednesday some
100 dead swans had been spotted in the affected area."
- The above comments confirm commentaries
that indicated H5N1 was widespread in western Europe in the fall.
In August, Russia had reported evidence for H5N1 migrating south into southern
Siberia, indicating that H5N1 had been in both northern and southern Siberia
over the summer of 2005. Reports from Russia also indicated that
over two dozens species were H5N1 positive and these data only represented
areas that had been tested. Additional H5N1 in untested areas, like
northern Siberia, were acknowledged in the OIE Mission Report.
- In the fall there were many reports
of significant bird deaths, including Germany (see August map) and media
reports indicated bird flu had been detect in Germany. Later reports
indicated rat poison had been detected in the birds and no OIE report was
filed. These denials of H5N1 were common in western Europe in the
fall of 2005.
- The recent detection of H5 or H5N1 in
6 EU countries (Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary)
and additional swan deaths under investigation in central and western Europe
suggest that H5N1 has been throughout western Europe since the fall.
- This migration would likely be via the
East Atlantic Flyway, suggesting H5N1 may also be in North America.
However, new migrations north from Nigeria should carry additional H5N1
to western Europe and North America. Initial isolates from Nigerian
poultry show strong homology with isolates from Qinghai Lake, Romania,
and Turkey. However, isolates for H5N1 along the East Atlantic Flyway
in Africa have not been reported, and additional recombinations may have
- The movement of H5N1 infected migratory
birds back into western Europe is cause for concern. H5N1 from Qinghai
Lake had sequences from European swine. H5N1 migration into the area
could produce additional acquisitions, which are causes for concern.
- © 2006 Recombinomics. All