Wild and 'carrying'

by Erica Shaffer
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Wild geese
Wild birds are known to carry H5 strains of avian flu without appearing sick.

WASHINGTON – Two wild birds, a goose and a duck, tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture reported.

The infected birds were found within the Mississippi flyway where H5N2 has previously been identified, the agency said. The birds were dead. Wild birds can carry H5 virus strains without appearing sick. Animal health officials said detection of the virus in British Columbia, Ontario and along the Mississippi and Pacific Flyways indicate that the virus is still active within migratory bird populations.

Kentucky is the easternmost state to report the virus, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the Univ. of Minnesota. The findings mean the deadly virus is moving closer to large commercial poultry operations on the East Coast, particularly in the Delmarva region.

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