From the Washington Post:
Migrating swans have spread a lethal strain of avian flu into several European nations in recent days and experts predicted it was likely only a matter of time before the virus was carried across the continent by migrating birds.
Germany confirmed Wednesday that two dead swans found on the island of Rugen in the Baltic Sea tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu. The virus originated in Asia and has jumped from birds to infect at least 165 humans worldwide, killing 91, according to the World Health Organization. In the past week, dead swans that tested positive for the virus have also been reported in Austria, Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Bulgaria.
The virus has previously been detected in Romania, Croatia and Ukraine. And health officials in Poland, Denmark and Hungary announced Wednesday that they were checking dead swans to learn if the infection has spread to their countries as well...Experts worry that if the bird flu virus mutates, humans could become more susceptible and a global epidemic could result. Although no one in Europe has been reported infected by the H5N1 strain -- the closest cases have occurred in Turkey, all from contact with dead chickens -- there were signs that people were getting jittery.
Click here to read the article.
After the U.S. Governments response to Katrina (at all levels) it is worrisome to think about how they would respond if this ever becomes an epidemic killing humans in North America.