Study: Government looking in wrong place for bird flu

Monday, December 4th 2006, 6:12 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) Researchers say birds from Latin America are more likely to bring deadly bird flu to the U.S. than birds flying from Asia to Alaska.

A $29 million bird flu surveillance program has focused heavily on migratory birds flying to Alaska.

A report in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that those birds present a much lower risk than birds arriving from South and Central Americas.

The study's lead author says nations south of the U.S. import hundreds of thousands of chickens a year from countries where bird flu has turned up in migratory birds or poultry.

The author says that if bird flu arrives in Mexico or somewhere farther south, it could be a matter of time before a migratory bird carries the virus to the U.S.