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Bird Flu Survives in Landfills

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After an outbreak of the bird flu, most carcasses end up in landfills. There, according to a new study, the virus can survive for up to two years.

After an outbreak of the bird flu, most carcasses end up in landfills. There, according to a new study, the virus can survive for up to two years.

Landfills are designed to contain waste for far longer than that, so the practice is probably safe. Still, the new study suggests that waste managers might want to be particularly careful with how they dispose of infected birds.

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"There are a lot of birds at landfills," said Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, an environmental engineer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "If you think of landfills as reservoirs, you could have birds as vectors. Other animals could be vectors. Landfill personnel could be potentially exposed."

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