Thousands of ducks are to be culled at two farms in Victoria, Australia following detection of a H5 (bird strain) influenza virus, according to the ABC News. The link also includes a snippet from the Melbourne news, with some footage of very cute ducklings that are presumably going to the big duck-pond in the sky. The head of biosecurity of the Department of Primary Industries says they are taking a very heavy-handed approach, but it’s probably not a bad thing to err on the side of caution. There have been several deaths recently in south-east Asia attributed to bird flu, including last week in China (link). While there is still no evidence for human-human transmission, the proximity of poultry to humans in many rural areas of south-east Asia means that it would be very wise to be vigilant.
By the way, I’m in Mexico now – the source location of the 2009 H1N1 swine-flu outbreak!