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  • Bird flu: one virus, many challenges


This year has seen the H5N1 bird flu virus spread further and faster than ever before. In this article in Nature, Declan Butler interviews researchers in some of the countries affected.

Disease researcher Andrew Jeremijenko describes how Indonesia has become a bird flu hotspot, and says delays in detecting and reporting the disease remain a problem.

Les Sims, a consultant for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, says Thailand's innovative door-to-door monitoring programme has done much to help control outbreaks there.

According to virologist Shahid Jameel, two major problems in India are a lack of public communication, and a lack of laboratories to detect infections.

Nigeria is also short of detection facilities, with only one diagnostic laboratory, says Claude Muller of the World Health Organization. He argues that poultry farming is so important in Africa that vaccinating flocks is the only way forward.

But virologist Guan Yi points out that this approach has led to problems of its own in China, where poultry are still shedding the virus in markets despite the country's extensive vaccination campaigns.

Link to full article in Nature

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