Bird flu hot spot: Scientists track virus in huge migration

Red knots and Horseshoe crabs, Delaware Bay

LAURAN NEERGAARD / AP / NJ HERALD – Huge flocks of famished birds scour the sands of Delaware Bay for the tiny greenish eggs an army of horseshoe crabs lays every spring.

It’s a marvel of ecology as shorebirds migrating from South America to the Arctic time a stop critical to their survival to this mass crab spawning. It’s also one of the world’s hot spots for bird flu — a bonanza for scientists seeking clues about how influenza evolves so they just might better protect people.

“Eventually, we would like to be able to predict which would be the next pandemic,” said flu pioneer Robert Webster of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital …

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