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‘Bird Flu’ Spills Over To UK Foxes And Otters



'Bird Flu' Spills Over To UK Foxes And Otters

(CTN News) – A big outbreak of bird flu is spreading to mammals, including otters and foxes.

BBC figures show at least 200 cases of the virus in mammals.

Despite warnings from public health officials, the mutation could spread to humans.

In the UK, there will be more targeted surveillance and testing.

Although UKHSA still says avian flu is primarily a bird flu disease, experts are looking at the risks of it spreading to other animals.

Dolphins and seals have also been found to carry the virus, including grizzly bears in America and mink in Spain.

Nine otters and foxes tested positive for HPAI H5N1 by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in the UK.

Cases have been reported in Durham, Cheshire, Cornwall, Powys, Shetland, the Inner Hebrides, and Fife.

A wild bird flu believed to be dead or sick feeds on them.

There was a mutation of the virus that made it easier to infect mammals, but no evidence of transmission.

Infection risk for GB mammals is very low, according to APHA.

Ian Brown, director of scientific services at APHA, said dead and sick birds with bird flu contain many viruses. This results in scavenging mammals being infected with a lot of viruses.

Currently, the UK’s national avian flu taskforce is increasing surveillance of cases in mammals and genome analysis of the virus. While monitoring its spread in global Bird Flu populations.

The fact that it is a single strain is remarkable, he said, adding that increased international action is needed.

As a result of his experience with Covid-19, he is aware of the risks of avian flu becoming a pandemic.

Globally, we need to look at new strategies, international partnerships, to combat this disease.

That risk will continue if we don’t solve the problem worldwide.”

There have been five confirmed cases of H5N1 virus in humans since October 2021, including one in the UK and one death in China.

Among nine-year-olds in Ecuador, avian influenza A(H5) was found in her system.

Over the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 870 human infections with the H5N1 avian influenza virus in 21 countries. 457 of them died.

As a result, the virus cannot spread sustainably among humans.

Global surveillance is crucial to monitoring virological, epidemiological, and clinical changes related to emerging and circulating influenza viruses that may affect human (or animal) health, according to WHO. Virus sharing is critical to assessing risk.

“It is very concerning, and the risk has increased over the years as reflected by the number of animal outbreaks and human infections.”

According to the BBC, the World Organisation for Bird Flu Animal Health (WOAH) has recorded almost 42 million cases in domestic and wild birds since October 2021.

Over 193 million domestic birds have been culled as a result of the disease.

A WOAH spokesperson warned that the spread to mammals was likely under-reported, as it shows 119 outbreaks affecting mammals.


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