The EU agency is afraid of a bird flu pandemic: what is the reason

The EU agency is afraid of a bird flu pandemic: what is the reason


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If bird flu starts to spread between people, the world could face another pandemic. The main reason for this is the lack of immunity in people against viruses of the H5 group.

About this informs Reuters with reference to the report of the European Food Safety Agency.

The statement was published the day after it became known about the detection of the H5N1 bird flu strain in a person in Texas. Infection occurred after contact with dairy cows infected with the virus.

Recently, the number of bird flu outbreaks has been lower. At the same time, the virus spread geographically, in particular to Antarctica. Infection of mammals has also been observed, which increases the risk of bird flu transmission to humans.

Currently, transmission of this type of influenza to humans is observed in rare cases. However, due to virus mutations, migration of birds that can pick up new strains, there are potential risks of adaptation and persistent infection of mammals.

In the report, the agency voiced fears about the possible large-scale spread of the virus among people:

“If avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses acquire the ability to spread efficiently among humans, large-scale transmission may occur due to the lack of immune protection against H5 viruses in humans.”

In the period from January 2003, a total of about 887 cases of human infection with bird flu were registered in the world. Of them, 462, i.e. more than half, were fatal.

A significant part of the cases of infection was detected after contact of people with sick or dead birds. It is assumed that other mammals can become a bridge between sick birds and humans. Pets, such as cats, that live indoors and have access to the outdoors at the same time can potentially contribute to human infection.

The European Food Safety Agency calls for increased surveillance of humans and animals, ensuring access to rapid diagnostics and implementation of preventive measures.

Earlier we wrote that bird flu was the cause of the sharp population decline sea ​​birds

Anna Kovalenko, “UP. Life”


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