Bird flu spreads across globe can cause pandemic after record cases3 min read
About 15 million birds have been killed in Japan.
This virus has also spread in North America.
Five human cases of avian flu were reported in the last year.
Tokyo, A record nearly 15 million birds have been killed after a deadly outbreak of bird flu cases in Japan. Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture said on Thursday that about 15 million birds have been killed in Japan, a record for a season, amid an unprecedented spread of bird flu across the country, Xinhua news agency reported. Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the number of birds killed now stood at 14.78 million, a nearly 50 percent increase from the record 9.87 million recorded cases during the 2020-2021 season.
Significantly, this virus has also spread in North America (Bird Flu in North America). Meanwhile, the avian flu virus has moved from Europe and Asia to North America, where it has rapidly spread through bird populations in South and Central America, an Al Jazeera report said. . It has been said in the report that the flu is no longer limited to birds. This is increasing the list of wild mammals killed in the United States. Including grizzly bears in Nebraska and Montana, a red fox in Montana, six skunks and raccoons in Oregon, and a Kodiak bear in Alaska.
In January, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported avian influenza in a little girl in Ecuador, the first human bird flu case in South America. Only five human cases of avian flu were reported last year. According to the WHO, previous human instances of H5N1 avian influenza had a mortality rate of 53% (Death Rate for Humans in Bird Flu).
Experts have warned that the recent detection of bird flu in mammals including foxes, otters, minks, seals and even brown bears is worrying, an AFP report said, but stressed It has been suggested that the virus must mutate itself significantly in order to spread among humans. Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, told AFP that it constitutes a “panzootic” (an epidemic among animals). He said he’s not entirely sure why this is happening now, but we think it may be driven by a slightly different strain of H5N1 that is spreading more effectively in wild, migratory birds.
Could this cause an epidemic?
Two recent large-scale infections have raised concerns that bird flu has the potential to spread among mammals. In October, a Spanish farm had an outbreak of H5N1 with the PB2 mutation, which killed more than 50,000 minks. The death of some 2,500 seals found on Russia’s Caspian Sea coast last month has also raised concerns. Scientists believe that if seals passed bird flu to each other, it would be “another very worrying development”. There is a possibility of an epidemic in humans.
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Tags: America, bird flu, global pandemic, Japanese, New Study, Russia, Spain
FIRST PUBLISHED : February 17, 2023, 16:46 IST