The Merit Release Birds: Buddhist ritual and implications in the H5N1 virus contamination cycle

Abstract

Background The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has dramatically spread throughout Southeast Asia since its first detection in 1997. Merit Release Birds, such as the Eurasian-Tree sparrow, are believed to increase one’s positive karma when kissed and released during Buddhist rituals. Since these birds are often in close contact with both poultry and humans, we investigated their potential role in the spread of H5N1 virus in Cambodia, a Buddhist country were H5N1 virus is endemic.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Gutirrez2011TheMR, title={The Merit Release Birds: Buddhist ritual and implications in the H5N1 virus contamination cycle}, author={Ramona Alikiiteaga Guti{\'e}rrez and Philippe Buchy}, year={2011} }