(Mutated?) Bird-Flu Hiding in Healthy Indonesian Chickens!

According to a report by Reuters, filed today from JAKARTA :

“Indonesia has found traces of H5N1 bird flu in apparently healthy-looking poultry, making it tougher to detect the disease in the country hardest hit by the virus, officials said on Monday.”

“…..there is a trend that chicken or poultry are infected by the virus but they don’t die. So, the H5N1 virus is not fatal to poultry,” Musny Suatmodjo, director of animal health at the agriculture ministry, told a news conference.

“Sick or dead chickens are used as a sign of H5N1 infection, but the appearance of “asymptomatic” chickens means humans could become more easily infected with bird flu.”

This could be a serious development in the H5N1 saga and raises two very urgent and important questions:

                                                                                              

  

1. Has the H5N1 mutated to a form that can remain in Poultry without killing the host?

2. Without the hitherto clearly visible symptoms of the poultry infected with the H5N1 virus, how would it be possible to find (and avoid human contact with) the infected poultry?

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