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H5 Wild Bird Flu Confirmed in Kuwait
November 10, 2005
Dr. Mohammed al-Mihana of the Public Authority told The Associated Press that tests in a local laboratory indicated the strain was H5
The above comment indicates that H5 wild bird flu has been reported for the first time in the Persian Gulf. The report adds Kuwait to the list of countries in Europe and the Middle East who has reported H5 wild bird flu infections.
However, the above report raises serious concerns about the ability or interest in European countries in upholding their OIE requirements of reporting HPAI H5 infections.
In the Russian mission report, about 2 dozen species infected with H5N1 were described. Most of the birds had been shot down by hunters, indicating the birds were asymptomatic. This has been confirmed with the H5N1 sequences from a crested grebe. The sequence in all 8 genes was closely related to the Qinghai Lake sequences, although the grebe was healthy.
The outbreak in Siberia is within the intersection of several major flyways that link Siberia to western Europe, the Middle east, and Africa. The more recent reports of H5N1 in European Russia further indicate that H5N1 infections in Europe are widespread. The positive data from Romania, Turkey, Croatia, and now Kuwait indicates many other countries are failing to report H5N1 infections.