August 20, 2005
No. 1 bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) Erhel lake, Huvsgel province
No. 3 whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) Erhel lake, Huvsgel province H5
No. 4 whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) Erhel lake, Huvsgel province H5
The above descriptions of the first samples reported to OIE from
Mongolia show that H5 is being detected in dead birds at a remote
lake. Media reports indicate that one of the whooper cranes has
tested positive for H5N1 and there is little doubt that H5 from dead
waterfowl at the lake will be H5N1 postive. The H5N1 will be
closely related to the H5N1 from Qinghai Lake or Chany Lake.
The above data suggest H5N1 wild bird flu is migrating to the east
and south in Asia, while a separate wave is migrating west into
Europe (see map). As the temperature in the north begins to fall,
more birds will migrate out of nature reserves at Chany Lake and
H5N1 in bar headed geese, which can migrate 1000 miles in a day, is
another indication that H5N1 can be transported far and wide by
migratory birds. The H5N1 in the whooper swans adds to the list of
wild bird species carrying H5N1.
Media reports indicated that a relative small percentage of the
birds at Erthel Lake were dead. Thus, it is likely that
asymptomatic birds will carry the wild bird version of H5N1 into
areas that are endemic for H5N1. This will create an environment
for additional dual infections and recombination, which will offer
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