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February 10, 2006


Maps of the outbreak in Nigeria can be found here

Thanks for keeping us all up to date. The implications for Africa are truly frightening. There are other stories that are much more fun to read, but this one may be the one that ends up affecting our lives the most.

Today the report is of Swans in Sicily that had just flown north over the Med from Algeria -- first part of the spring return to Northern Europe, Poland, The Baltic States area apparently. Sick and dead birds have also now been found in Southern Italy.

Italy is clearly prepared to test and act -- it was about 24 hours delay between finding the first birds and reporting to the EU the results of tests. Virtually all the Swans in Europe -- Ireland to Western Russia winter in the coastal zone of Algeria, and then return to the same nesting areas every year. I would imagine that could mean many of Europe's swans have the possibility of being exposed. Swans mate for life -- and they make social arrangements during the first migration to the wintering areas, with the males returning to the female's home nest area.

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