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Global Spread of the Highly Pathogenic H5N8 Avian Influenza Virus Is a Serious Public Health Concern

Global Spread of the Highly Pathogenic H5N8 Avian Influenza Virus Is a Serious Public Health Concern

The emergence and international unfold of the extremely pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus (AIV), a pathogen that has triggered steady and ongoing outbreaks with large mortality in each wild and farmed birds throughout Eurasia and Africa all through 2020, represents a appreciable public well being concern — significantly contemplating the first human instances of H5N8 an infection had been first reported final December.

In a Perspective, Weifeng Shi and George Gao talk about the emergence and zoonotic potential of the H5 AIV lineages. Shi and Gao argue that vigilant surveillance and rigorous an infection management measures for these rising viruses are crucial to keep away from additional human spillovers that would end in new and devastating pandemics.

Maybe overshadowed by the ongoing international COVID-19 pandemic, over the previous yr, H5N8 infections in each wildfowl and poultry have been recognized in a minimum of 46 international locations throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Whereas these outbreaks have led to the loss of life or slaughter of many hundreds of thousands of birds worldwide, they’ve additionally notably resulted in a minimum of one spillover occasion in Russia, the place seven poultry farm employees examined optimistic for H5N8 virus.

In keeping with the authors, the speedy international unfold of this AIV and its demonstrated capability to cross the species barrier, transmitting to people, makes it a main concern to not solely farming and wildlife safety, but additionally international public well being. Shi and Gao counsel that the surveillance of extremely pathogenic AIVs in poultry farms, reside markets, and wild birds should develop into a international precedence.

Reference: “Rising H5N8 avian influenza viruses” 20 Might 2021, Science.
DOI: 10.1126/science.abg6302

W. Shi at Shandong First Medical College and Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences in Ji’nan, China; G.F. Gao at Chinese language Centre for Illness Management and Prevention in Beijing, China; G.F. Gao at Chinese language Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing, China.

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