H5N1 Changing

The changing H5N1 virus is getting tougher to spot in chickens:

U.S. researchers reported that ducks in Southeast Asia had begun carrying the bird flu virus without showing symptoms. Now, scientists in Vietnam have found numerous asymptomatic cases in the country’s vast chicken population, according to Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

“It seems that the virus may adapt in humans and in poultry a little bit. Therefore, the symptoms are not as severe as before,” Hien said. “Also, the transmission may be faster and easier.”

This is not a good sign. It may be the only way to contain the disease is to vaccinate or kill every chicken and duck in Southeast Asia.

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