Declan Butler, reporter This is the personal blog of Declan Butler, a senior reporter at Nature. All views expressed here are mine, and not those of Nature. Contact me at

May 16, 2006

Map update

Filed under: avian influenza,Google Earth — admin @ 11:24 pm

H5n1 maps have been updated — link here. You will notice that there has been a large decrease in the number of outbreaks reported over the last month.
We had a couple of pieces in last week’s Nature on the threat of H5N1 to the Americas — all free access- see :
Avian Flu and the New World
How might it get there?
State’s flu response raises concern.

I’m away all this week at a conference at the Rockefeller Study and Conference Centre in Bellagio, Italy (Google Earth link). More about that later.

Update 17 May; just published this

Blogger reveals China’s migratory goose farms near site of flu outbreak


The hypothesis that migratory birds are responsible for spreading avian flu over long distances has taken another knock. Last year, an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain in thousands of migratory birds at Qinghai Lake in western China provided what seemed the first firm evidence for the idea. Because the lake is so remote, experts assumed infected birds had flown up from southern China.

But it has now emerged that, since 2003, one of the key migratory species affected, the bar-headed goose, has been artificially reared near the lake. The breeding farms — part of an experimental programme to both domesticate the birds and release them to repopulate wild stocks — raise the possibility that farmed birds were the source of the outbreak.

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