Australia: Researchers doubtful over deadly bird flu discovery

Researchers from James Cook University are not expecting to find the deadly strain of bird flu when they conduct tests in north Queensland.

Next month, blood samples will be taken from black ducks, whistling ducks and magpie geese to determine the levels of infection.

The state's far north is an entry point for many migratory birds from countries such as Indonesia, where the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been found.

Dr Graham Burgess is not expecting to find H5N1, but says it is possible that birds could bring it into the country.

"We've got two potential entry points," he said.

"One is with birds coming to Australia, that's not extremely likely, but it can happen and the other one is humans getting infected and developing a new strain of the disease and then bringing it to Australia.

"That's the one that we're really worried about with H5N1." (


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