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News 364 views update:Feb 3, 2010

Ducks and rice paddies linked to spread of AI

Researchers believe that almost all the outbreaks in Thailand and Vietnam between 2004 and 2005 can be traced to ducks that fed near rice paddies that had just been harvested.

The researchers, working with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, say that infected ducks spread the virus to wild birds that also came to the rice paddies to feed.
Avian flu is often associated with chickens, but it has been reported that chickens die from the virus too quickly to effectively spread the disease. Therefore, researchers believe that limiting the movement of domestic ducks and vaccinating ducks help to curb the spread of the virus.
The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS).
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