Two wild swans on Lake Erie in Michigan may be infected with a strain of avian influenza, federal scientists said this week. If further tests confirm the findings, it will mark the first time the disease has been detected in the U.S. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the strain of H5N1 virus found in the swans was probably not the highly virulent one that has ravaged Asian poultry populations and killed at least 138 people worldwide. “We do not believe this virus represents a threat to human health,” said a department spokesman. But scientists will continue to track the virus, which can rapidly mutate into a more deadly form.
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