Bird flu cases are popping up in Europe and Asia with more than 20 cases already detected in China: Officials tell poultry industry to be on the lookout for infected poultry
- Bird flu has been detected in birds throughout East Asia and Europe in recent months
- China, Japan, South Korea, France, Belgium and the Netherlands are among countries that have discovered cases
- At least 21 people in China have also been infected with the highly deadly virus
- Transmission of viruses from birds to humans is rare, although it is a danger to people who have poultry on their property
The bird flu has returned and is appearing around Europe and Asia in recent weeks.
Several outbreaks of serious bird flu in Europe and Asia have been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in recent days, as a sign that the virus is spreading rapidly again.
The spread of highly pathogenic bird flu, commonly called bird flu, has put the poultry industry on alert in the hope of controlling the spread.
An outbreak among poultry could lead to the killing of millions of birds, which would prove to be an economic nightmare for the industry.
The bird flu, or ‘bird flu’ as it is often referred to, has been detected throughout Asia and Europe, including China, Japan, South Korea, Belgium, France and the Netherlands in recent months. Pictured: Indian health workers slaughter infected ducks on 5 January
Birds infected with bird flu must be killed to control the spread of the virus. The bird flu often breaks out during the fall months as birds begin to migrate around the world due to the cold weather. People infected with the virus are likely to die, although human infection is rare. Pictured: Ducks in Bourriot-Bergonce, France, are detained to protect them from a flu outbreak on November 5, 2021
China has already been hit hard by bird flu, with 21 cases already reported among humans – more than what was reported throughout 2020.
A farm in South Korea reported a massive outbreak of 770,000 animals in Chungcheongbuk-do, according to an OIE report.
All the animals that were discovered to be infected were killed, the report says.
WHAT IS THE BIRD FLU?
Also known as bird flu, bird flu is a contagious disease in birds caused by a variant of the standard flu A virus.
Avian influenza is unique in that it can be transmitted directly from birds to humans.
There are 15 different strains of the virus. It is the H5N1 strain that infects humans and causes high death rates.
Humans can catch bird flu directly through close contact with live infected birds, and those who work with infected chickens are most at risk.
Close by, Japan also discovered an outbreak in which a farm in the northeastern region of the island nation found some infected animals, although the exact number was not reported.
Thousands of kilometers away, another outbreak of bird flu infected 7,000 birds in the Rogaland region of Norway.
Belgium found a goose infected with a highly contagious strain of bird flu, and officials on Monday ordered that poultry be kept indoors to protect against an outbreak.
France and the Netherlands have also experienced minor outbreaks of bird flu in recent months.
The virus often spreads during the fall and winter months, when birds migrate all over the world.
An infected bird will often carry the flu with it, introduce it to a new part of the world and infect animals there.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that a person can get the virus by being around or touching an infected bird.
If virus particles enter a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, they can become infected.
An infected bird will often disperse infected droplets or dust through the air as they flap their wings, claw, or shake their head.
Someone who keeps poultry on their farm or in their backyard is advised to monitor their poultry for potential signs of bird flu.
Bird flu is extremely deadly in humans, with a presumed death rate of over 50 percent.
Human-to-human transmission of the virus is possible, but is extremely rare.
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