One citizen and two state environmental workers tested positive for exposure to H11N9 avian influenza virus in a recent study on Iowa duck hunters' serology. None of them had complained of illness, according to Dr. James Gill, the research leader.
A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson quoted in the Avian Influenza Daily Digest hinted that the study suggested the potential for acquiring avian influenza infection from wild waterfowl. Thirty-nine hunters and 32 Iowa Department of Natural Resources workers were surveyed for influenza antibodies.
The results of the study, to be published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, would imply that hunters could contract and transmit avian influenza from free-living birds to commercial flocks.