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Bird flu threat has not yet reached the US

After testing more than 13,000 migratory birds in Alaska this summer, the anticipated avian flu outbreaks in North American birds have not yet materialised.

No positive results for the avian flu virus, H5N1, have been detected during the testing. Now other states have begun preparations for the fall migration, with a nationwide goal of 100,000 birds to be tested this year.

"Although no high-path H5N1 virus has yet been detected," said Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, "we must remain vigilant and thorough in this important detection and early warning program."

Alaska has been targeted as a testing site because many birds migrating from the influenza hot zones in Asia move there during the summer. There the Asian birds mingle with many birds from other states that also migrate to Alaska in the summer months.

Scientists hope that early diagnosis would enable the government to take any necessary precautions.

Now that fall is approaching, both state and federal biologists across the nation have begun capturing and sampling various migratory birds as they begin their southern migration.

Editor WorldPoultry

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