Bird Flu Raced Through South America. Antarctica Could Be Next.
By The New York TimesNews Disease watch
More than 100 million birds breed in the region, and many are likely to be vulnerable to the virus, scientists warned.
Over the last three years, a highly lethal form of avian influenza has whipped around the world, felling birds in Europe, Africa and Asia before jumping across the ocean and setting off the worst bird flu outbreak in United States history.
Last fall, the virus, known as H5N1, finally arrived in South America. It raced quickly down the Pacific coast and killed wild birds and marine mammals in staggering numbers.
Now, scientists are worried that the virus will make its way to Antarctica, one of only two continents — along with Australia — that have not yet been hit by the pathogen.
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