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Watching for 'Bird Flu' in California

September 29, 2005

UC Davis researchers are watching migratory birds this fall for avian influenza, or "bird flu," including the deadly H5N1 influenza strain.

Walter Boyce and Jonna Mazet, co-directors of the Wildlife Health Center in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, are experts in disease transmission among wild birds and other wild animals.

They will be testing 1,000 to 2,000 wild birds along the Pacific Flyway over the next six months, particularly waterfowl such as ducks and geese. The center's field biologists already have begun trapping and sampling live ducks, and will be sampling dead birds at hunter check-in stations.

Die-offs of wild birds, which are not uncommon in the Pacific Flyway in places where many birds congregate, will also be investigated.

More information about wildlife and avian influenza: http://www-news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=7485.

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