The role of freshwater snails in the transmission of influenza A viruses
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Waterfowl are the natural reservoirs for avian influenza (AI) viruses. Avian influenza virus infections in these birds are generally subclinical, but they shed infectious virus through feces for several days, typically into water. Further, AI viruses can remain infectious in water for weeks. This characteristic enhances transmission of AI viruses among waterfowl because transmission is not constrained by direct contact. The prevalence of AI virus infection in waterfowl populations follows a cyclical pattern; prevalence is highest in the population after the breeding season. Shedding of AI viruses ...