Confined chickens

Confined chickens

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Credit: PHILIPPE BENOIST/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Confined chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) during the bird flu crisis. The birds are being confined to prevent them from being exposed to the H5N1 virus. The natural hosts of the H5N1 virus are wild birds, which show few symptoms. However, if transmitted, domestic birds will suffer a 90-100% mortality rate. In addition, humans that come into contact with infected birds can become infected themselves, the first such case occurring in Hong Kong in 1997. There are fears that the virus may mutate into a human-transmissible form, which could lead to millions of deaths worldwide. Photographed at a chicken farm in the south west of France.

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