September 25, 2022

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Re-emergence of bird flu virus has experts concerned

Re-emergence of bird flu virus has experts concerned



 

Re-emergence of bird flu virus has experts concerned.

Avian influenza viruses usually appear in high-density poultry farms. However, they can be lethal in wild bird populations and can even infect humans.

With recent outbreaks in Canada and the United States of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) strain H5N1 is rapidly becoming a global concern. The virus has caused widespread outbreaks in Asia, Africa and Europe, killing millions of poultry and wild birds.

 

Re-emergence of bird flu virus has experts concerned

 

In an opinion piece published in the journal Science , Michelle Wille and Ian Barr discuss the factors contributing to the global outbreak of the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, the consequences of this spread, and what can be done to suppress it.

“The rapid spread and extremely high frequency of outbreaks in the ongoing 2021-2022 wave of H5N1 avian influenza in domestic and wild birds is unprecedented and represents an ongoing potential threat to humans,” the authors wrote.

 

The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has been circulating around the world since 2020.

While the virus is frequently present in high-density poultry production systems, they can also infect wild migratory birds.

One particular strain, H5N1, was responsible for the latest wave of infections, which have been identified throughout Eurasia as well as in Africa and North America.

 

Re-emergence of bird flu virus has experts concerned

 

 

The virus can be deadly in bird populations and has already caused mass mortality events in wild birds, threatening entire populations, especially those already on the brink of extinction. What’s more, the virus has already had a substantial impact on poultry production.

In 2020 and 2021 alone, approximately 15 million poultry will be slaughtered or killed due to highly pathogenic avian influenza virus infection.

 

Perhaps most concerning is the virus’s ability to infect humans. Although bird-to-human infection has been rare over the past 20 years and sustained human-to-human transmission has yet to be documented, highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses pose a potential pandemic risk.

 

Further adaptations of the current virus could improve its ability to transmit efficiently between humans.

To avoid this, Wille and Barr argue, international health and agricultural organizations need to take every avian flu outbreak seriously, especially if it involves humans.

 

Among other measures, they called for continued investment in monitoring wild birds and poultry, and humans at the human-animal interface.

They point out that measures have been proposed to prevent the spillover of the HPAI virus into wild birds, such as reducing flock size and density and avoiding raising poultry in areas rich in waterfowl.

 

 

 

 

Re-emergence of bird flu virus has experts concerned

(source:internet, reference only)


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