Avian flu hits penguins in Antarctica. Scientists wonder how virus reached the icy region…(H11N2, A New One!!)
By Rhodi Lee
May 8, 2014
Antarctica may be too cold and remote but this has not, apparently, helped prevent pigeons living in the icy region to contract avian flu, which is basically transmitted when birds get in contact with infected animals or contaminated secretions and surfaces.
In a study published in the journal of American Society for Microbiology mBio May 6, a group of international scientists described a new strain of avian flu that they discovered in the Antarctic after conducting tests on Adélie penguins.
For their study, the researchers collected specimen from 301 penguins as well as blood from 270 penguins from January to February 2013 and found avian influenza virus (AIV) in eight of the penguins two of which were chicks. They also noted that the viruses they found were of the H11N2 strain.