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British scientists create new bird flu map

[Wednesday 01 November 2006]

AS THE late autumn migrations of millions of birds to Europe begins to gather pace, bringing with it new fears about the spread of deadly avian 'flu, British scientists announced today (November 1) that they have created a new map of migration patterns which could act as an early warning system should the disease threaten Britain.

We can now provide much better information to Defra to help them target their surveillance

Dr Phil Atkinson - BTO

Migrating birds from South East Asia and the southern steppes were last year accused to bringing the deadly strain of H5N1 strain which has killed humans in Asia to Europe, but there were no reported cases of the infection spreading to people here.

However, warning bells rang because epidemiologists fear that the H5N1 strain to crossbreed with human flu strains and produce a killer strain against which there are no effective vaccines.

Scientists from the rural affairs department Defra turned for help to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), which has some 650,000 movements on its data base of birds ringed by hundreds of volunteers. And working together for the past year, they have now come up with an early warning computer model which, the experts hope, will allow them to predict the arrival of infected birds in Britain.

Announcing the creation of the new technology today, Dr Phil Atkinson, who took the lead in the research, commented: "We were pleased that Defra recognised that we have excellent data about the movements of birds due to the huge efforts of bird ringers, working as part of the BTO's ringing scheme.

"We have used this information to develop a 'migration mapping tool' to give an easy to understand picture of the timing of migration and the areas from which migratory waterfowl that visit Britain and Ireland originate, or through which they travel.

"We can now provide much better information to Defra to help them target their surveillance for a potential avian flu incursion, given an outbreak of the disease in another country."

Your views:

  • This is just another ruse to scare people into taking vaccination's. So called bird flu won't kill anyone, the so called bird flu jab's will kill million's of people in the world, what a great culling tool for our New World Order master's. Quote from a former director of the American intstitute of medicine "The only safe vaccine is one that is never used" - Enough said.

    Cary G Dean - Ryde

  • An Excellent idea. Bird Flu Maps pinpoint the high risk areas for travellers and residents of the UK and the world.

    Dr. Shoshana Zimmerman - Manager, birdflubeacon.com

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