Potential New Pandemic WARNING – Bird flu H5N1 cases rise

H5N1 has spread in 26 countries since 2020

Scientists have issued a warning indicating the potential emergence of another pandemic, as instances of bird flu, specifically H5N1, are on the rise.

As reported by The Metro, Dr. Diana Bell, a professor of conservation biology, highlighted the rapid spread of bird flu since 2020.

Though initially detected in domestic geese in 1997, the disease has been gradually extending its reach to various continents, impacting not only avian species but also non-avian ones. Notably, the strain has caused fatalities among dolphins in Chile and Peru, approximately 50,000 seals and sea lions along coastal regions, and at least half a million birds across the affected regions.

In a significant development, Antarctica has confirmed its first case of bird flu, affirming scientists’ concerns.

Dr. Bell noted that H5N1 has spread across 26 countries since 2020, with mammals increasingly succumbing to the virus. The report mentioned a troubling fatality rate of 52%, with 882 reported cases of bird flu in humans across 23 countries in 2020.

The origin of bird flu remains shrouded in mystery, echoing parallels with the Covid-19 pandemic. Both are suspected to have originated from zoonotic spillover events, where viruses transition from animals to humans.

A case of H10N5, resulting in the first confirmed human fatality, occurred in China on January 27, 2024, although the patient also suffered from seasonal flu (H3N2) and had been in contact with live poultry, which tested positive for H10N5.

As climate change progresses, animals may migrate into new habitats, increasing the potential for viral mutations through altered interactions.

Emphasizing the urgency of research and surveillance, Dr. Bell underscores the necessity to comprehend the adaptability of viruses and their potential to infect various species.

In parallel efforts, pharmaceutical companies such as GSK and Moderna have announced the development of bird flu vaccines for humans. These companies claim the ability to produce hundreds of millions of doses within months, utilizing existing production lines for seasonal flu vaccines.

h5n1 bird flu

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