17 Sep 2008

Low-grade strain of avian flu found in ducks

7:18 pm on 17 September 2008

A low-grade strain of avian influenza has been found in wild ducks in New Zealand, though experts says poultry consumers have no cause for concern.

The pathogenic H5N1 virus was found in two samples taken from mallard ducks as part of a detection programme run by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Biosecurity.

Team manager Andre van Halderen says the find is not unexpected, adding that the virus is quite different to the strain circulating in Asia.