Indonesia says it has found more virulent bird flu strain


Indonesia has identified the bird flu virus that killed hundreds of thousands of ducks in several provinces in Java in recent weeks, as a more virulent type which is new to the country. 

According to a letter by the agriculture ministry's veterinary chief Syukur Iwantoro to the local government officies and the World Health Organization, the veterinary office found that the H5N1 virus involved was a different clade to that usually found in Indonesia.

A clade is a group of organisms, usually species, with a common ancestor. 

Mr Iwantoro has called for further research into whether there had been a genetic shift in the virus previously found in the country, or whether the new strain originated overseas.