Researchers create tool to predict avian flu outbreaks

A simple and effective portable tool to predict avian flu outbreaks on farms has been created by University of Guelph researchers.

Theys devised a real-time way to analyze chickens and other farm birds for avian flu. The tool uses a small blood sample and relies on a simple chemical colour change to see not only whether a chicken has avian flu but also what viral strain is involved. Current tests require samples to be sent to a lab, where it can take eight hours to a couple of days to yield results what is  too long. Treatment, especially when dealing with humans who have been infected, needs to start as soon as possible.

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