March 20, 2006

Bird flu likely in US this year: Norton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton
said on Monday said that it was "increasingly likely" that bird
flu would be detected in the United States as early as this

Speaking to reporters, Norton and Agriculture Secretary
Mike Johanns unveiled a plan to increase monitoring of
migratory birds that are likely to bring the bird flu virus to
U.S. shores.

Norton said bird flu would likely first be detected in the
Pacific islands in Alaska, where testing for the disease will
be a priority.

Norton stressed that detecting the disease in birds in the
United States would not signal the start of a human pandemic.