Since 2003, H5N1 has re-emerged in Asia with a vengeance, claiming dozens of lives and spreading to Europe, the Middle East and Africa through migrating birds and the poultry trade. Prevention and rapid response when outbreaks occur are therefore extremely important. But no matter how stringent the efforts or affluent the society, the risks of an ever-evolving virus such as H5N1 remain, as has been shown by the several outbreaks among chickens in Japan.
Tests on several wild birds found dead in Hong Kong this year determined that they were carrying H5N1. With initial tests on the ducks in Guangdong pointing to them also having the virus, it is clear that there is a need for defences to be strengthened.
The above comments on the recently confirmed outbreaks of H5N1 on five farms in Guangdong province describe the recent geographical expansion of H5N1 outside of China and regions to the northeast, but the role of trade in this dramatic expansion has no scientific basis. Source : Recombinomics