- Note - H5N1 continues to do exactly as
Dr. Niman predicted a year ago: it is learning how to more efficiently
infect mammals through genetic recombination. Dr. Niman's scientific vision
and gene-sequencing research achievements in forecasting the progress of
this avian pandemic remain unequalled. -ed
- "The Friedrich-Loeffler Institute
confirmed the presence of the virus in the marten, a carnivorous mammal
with brown fur and a white throat patch. The animal was found sick and
apparently dying on the island of Ruegen in northern Germany on March 2."
- The above comments indicate H5N1 in mammals
may be wide spread. Tests on experimental mice have shown that H5N1 has
increased its ability to efficiently infect mammals.
- These experimental observations were
confirmed when H5N1 was found in fatal infections of wild and domestic
cats in Thailand. These observations were extended further with experimental
infections of cats. The lab cats showed bird flu symptoms and could pass
H5N1 from cat to cat.
- The above experiments were based on Asian
isolates of H5N1. Recently, H5N1 was detected in cats in Germany and Austria.
H5N1 was found in fatally infected cats as well as those that had recovered.
Similarly, H5N1 antibodies were detected in healthy dogs and cats in Thailand.
- These data suggest that H5N1 can produce
a spectrum of illnesses in cats. The detection of H5N1 in a stone marten
indicates a number of mammalian species may be vulnerable. There have
also been reports of dog infections in Thailand as well as dead dogs and
foxes near H5N1 infected birds. These data suggest that ingestion of H5N1
infected birds can horizontally transmit the infection. This would be
supported by media reports of dead hyenas in Nigeria.
- As H5N1 spreads and infects additional
birds, the sick and dying birds appear to be capable of passing the infection
to resident carnivores.
- These data indicate the surveillance
for H5N1 should extend well beyond wild birds.
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