Georgia reports first suspected bird flu case

GEORGIA - A dead chicken showing all the signs of being infected with bird flu has been found in the Khashur region of Georgia, according to the agriculture ministry.
calendar icon 27 January 2006
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Blood samples from the bird have been sent to the veterinary laboratory in Tbilisi, and results are expected later Thursday.

Georgia, which has common borders with Turkey, is vulnerable to the virus. It has been accused by neighbouring governments of suppressing information about the bird flu cases.

Meanwhile, researchers at St Jude Children's Hospital in the US reported that they have completed the first large genetic analysis of more than 300 bird flu viruses out the 7,000 gathered from poultry, ducks, gulls and other flocks since 1976.

They identified 2,196 bird flu genes and 160 complete genomes, doubling the amount of genetic information available for scientists to study how these viruses evolve and spread over time. This will yield more clues to the virulence of bird flu.

Source: eFeedLink - 27th January 2006

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