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UN Report: Restoring World's Wetlands Key to Reducing Bird Flu

The United Nations says that restoring tens of thousands of degraded wetlands around the world could help reduce the threat of a bird flu pandemic.

Preliminary findings of the report were released Tuesday during a conference at the U.N. Environment Program headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The report says the loss of wetlands is forcing many wild birds into alternative habitats like farm ponds and paddy fields. It says these habitats increase the risk of the birds spreading avian flu to domestic birds like chickens.

The U.N. agency says current efforts to curb the spread of the disease, like isolation or destroying birds, are likely quick fixes that offer limited short-term benefits.

Bird flu has killed more than 100 people since 2003, mostly in East Asia. The disease also has been detected in birds in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Europe.