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Over 3600 Dead Wild Ducks In West Azerbajan Iran

Recombinomics Commentary

October 12, 2005

Report date: 12 October 2005.
Reason for immediate notification: an emerging disease with significant morbidity or mortality, or zoonotic potential.
A high mortality was observed in wild waterfowl (wild ducks) at Poldasht, coast of Arras, West Azerbaijan province.
No pathological agent has been identified yet. No post-mortem lesions are seen in dead birds; weakness and death are the only evidences.
Date of start of the event: 2 October 2005.
Total number of deaths: 3,673.

The above OIE report on over 3600 dead wild ducks in Iran is cause for concern.  Past rumors of dead birds in Iran have been denied, but this official report raises the prospect of H5N1 wild bird flu.  The location is between the Black and Caspian Seas (see map), which is where many species from southern Siberia winter.  These birds are now arriving from southern Siberia, and dead birds have been found on the western side of the Black seas in Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece.

H5N1 has been confirmed in Turkey, where 1700 turkeys were found dead on a turkey farm with 1800 birds.  It seems likely that H5N1 will be discovered in all countries adjacent to the Black and Caspain Seas, so the finding of the massive die off in Iran is not unexpected.

More details on the cause of death would be useful, but H5N1 wild bird flu is at the top of the list of suspected agent.


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