Today’s Infectious Disease News (2/17/23)

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Bird Flu Ravages Poultry Populations Around the World, Threatening Food Supply

Avian Flu continues to spread throughout the world, as Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala and Uruguay confirmed their first cases in wild birds. The spread throughout the South America mirrors the worldwide pattern uncontrolled transmission across 5 continents, including North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. The virus, scientifically known as H5N1 is spreading between wild birds, poultry and mammals. he virus is so widespread in wild bird populations that the virus keeps reinfecting poultry farms. As soon as one bird develops an infection, the entire flock must be killed. Outbreaks of killed over 58 million poultry birds in the US alone since 2022, threatening the food supply. At least 47 states have confirmed outbreaks. Shifting wild bird migration patterns due to climate change have helped to fuel these outbreaks. Avian Flu is now spreading from mammal to mammal. This has scientists concerned that H5N1 becomes an even bigger threat to the global food supply. It is also a sign that the virus could evolve further to infect humans in the future

Full Story: Grist, Reuters, The Atlantic