News Stories

Bird Flu May Come from Alaska

Here at unknowncountry.com, we bring you regular reports about bird flu?and also about Alaska. Now it turns out that one of the most dangerous bird flu threats is coming FROM that state.

Jia-Rui Chong writes in the Sunday, October 22 Los Angeles Times that members of an isolated Alaskan native tribe called the Yup'iks are receiving regular medical checkups from physicians who fly in from government public health departments. The reason: Wild birds, which are one of their main food sources, may carry the deadly bird flu virus which they have brought from their migrations into Asia.

In the Sunday, October 22 Los Angeles Times, Jia-Rui Chong quotes federal wildlife biologist Brain McCaffery as saying, "If it's going to show up in wild birds, Alaska is the most likely place where it's going to happen."

Millions of wild birds land in the nearby Yukon National Wildlife Refuge to rest and eat insects, before heading back south on their journey to spend the winter in Australia and Asia. While they're in the vicinity, the native tribes kill them and eat them for food?but they may be infecting themselves with the highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus, which they can also catch from contact with bird droppings.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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