Home » WHO, ‘avian flu could infect humans more easily’ – Healthcare

WHO, ‘avian flu could infect humans more easily’ – Healthcare

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WHO, ‘avian flu could infect humans more easily’ – Healthcare

GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the increase in bird flu outbreaks among mammals could favor the spread of the virus among humans. Since the end of 2021, Europe has been hit by the worst outbreak of bird flu, while North and South America have also experienced severe outbreaks.

This has led to the culling of tens of millions of poultry (biologically closer to humans than birds) worldwide, many with the H5N1 strain of the virus, which first emerged in 1996. WHO now raises concerns that the virus could mutate and infect humans more easily, in a statement. “Some mammals – he says – can make the flu virus mutate, leading to the emergence of new viruses that could be more harmful to animals and humans.”

The current outbreaks of bird flu have caused “devastation” in animals, the UN health agency said, including poultry and wild birds, along with some mammals, adversely affecting farmers’ livelihoods and the food trade. “Although they largely affect animals, these outbreaks pose ongoing risks to humans,” she said.

WHO, along with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), have urged countries to work together to protect people and animals. “The avian flu epidemiology that has heightened global concern as the disease has spread to new geographic regions and caused unusual die-offs of wild birds and an alarming increase in mammalian cases,” said Woah chief scientist Gregorio Torres. Human cases of avian influenza are usually the result of direct or indirect exposure to infected live or dead poultry or contaminated environments.

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