Current Avian Flu Outbreak

Started by Anianna, February 16, 2023, 11:27:28 PM

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I doubt any of us are new to the concept of H5N1, long believed to be the most likely virus to become a major pandemic in humans and currently decimating both wild bird populations and seriously impacting the domestic foul industry. 

This outbreak, however, includes a couple of potentially concerning key differences to any previous outbreaks.  First, ten countries that have never encountered H5N1 currently have infected bird populations.  Second, it has presented in two mammal populations in which it spread through said populations, meaning it made both the jump from foul to mammal (which has been a known risk, but has previously been limited to direct contact with the infected foul) and remained a viable infection within that population (something we have not seen previously in mammals and is a potential concern for human infection of the virus).

So far, humans have experienced infections from direct contact with infected foul and the virus has been self-limiting in humans (no deaths, no significant spread from the current outbreak).  However, given the new behavior within the infected mink and sea lion populations, the virus may be closer to being the threat that scientists have been concerned about for years.

Regardless of the potential future issues posed by the virus, the current impact on the domestic foul industry is greater than previous infections, as is demonstrated by high egg prices, a staple food that was once arguably among the best budget sources of nutrition and is necessary for a wide range of industries and recipes, as well as the higher chicken meat prices and sporadic lack of supply for both.

The last major infection that had been the largest before this one was just seven years ago. 

Feed science, not zombies!

Failure is the path of least persistence.


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