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Bird flu attacks again. Is there anything to be afraid of?

The bird flu virus is gaining strength again. There is also another case of human infection. This time, a large outbreak of this disease occurred in the United States. Is there anything to be afraid of?

Disturbing news from Texas, USA. It was stated there a case of human infection with bird flu from infected dairy cows. As New Scientist reports, this first case of transmission of the H5N1 virus between humans and other mammals. For now, the symptoms of the disease are not significant – it's just conjunctivitis. The infected person takes antiviral drugs and appears to be recovering. His illness is only the second such case reported in the US.

However, American services are on standby. At the end of March, cows on farms in five US states (Texas, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico and Idaho) tested positive for the H5N1 virus. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirms that the virus can spread among animals.

Why is bird flu dangerous?

H5N1 bird flu first appeared in China in 1996. Since then it appeared only sporadically, most often in autumn, and then disappeared. In 2022, for the first time it caused the largest and most dangerous epidemic so far – It has attacked wild and farmed birds and other animal species around the world.

Over the last twenty years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded 887 human infections with this pathogen in 23 countries around the world. The high mortality rate is disturbing. Of these infections, as many as 462 resulted in the death of infected patients.

The bird flu virus mutates very quickly. It cannot be ruled out that it will begin to adapt to humans or cause more serious disease symptoms

– biologist prof. told PAP. Agnieszka Szuster-Ciesielska.

She further emphasized that So far, there have been no cases of transmission of this virus among humans. The professor also added that it is necessary to monitor the situation, but – according to her – you should not panicbecause the symptoms of infected patients included conjunctivitis.

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