0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
H5N1 is seen as a candidate for jumping that species barrier, and entering into a new environment where it has not yet found a balance. It is still highly speculative as to whether it will successfully jump that barrier (although the flu virus is well known for jumping between species), but nonetheless people do panic over the possibility it might do so.
[h3]Why H5N1 is of particular concern[/h3]Of the 15 avian influenza virus subtypes, H5N1 is of particular concern for several reasons. H5N1 mutates rapidly and has a documented propensity to acquire genes from viruses infecting other animal species. Its ability to cause severe disease in humans has now been documented on two occasions. In addition, laboratory studies have demonstrated that isolates from this virus have a high pathogenicity and can cause severe disease in humans. Birds that survive infection excrete virus for at least 10 days, orally and in faeces, thus facilitating further spread at live poultry markets and by migratory birds.The epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by H5N1, which began in mid-December 2003 in the Republic of Korea and is now being seen in other Asian countries, is therefore of particular public health concern. H5N1 variants demonstrated a capacity to directly infect humans in 1997, and have done so again in Viet Nam in January 2004. The spread of infection in birds increases the opportunities for direct infection of humans. If more humans become infected over time, the likelihood also increases that humans, if concurrently infected with human and avian influenza strains, could serve as the “mixing vessel” for the emergence of a novel subtype with sufficient human genes to be easily transmitted from person to person. Such an event would mark the start of an influenza pandemic.
Due to the high lethality and virulence of HPAI A(H5N1), its endemic presence, its increasingly large host reservoir, and its significant ongoing mutations, the H5N1 virus is the world's largest current pandemic threat, and billions of dollars are being spent researching H5N1 and preparing for a potential influenza pandemic
barely noticable! not too many people keep chickens any more, and the farms keep them in sheds mainly. I've not been past the turkey farm lately, but I expect it to be fairly quiet. cows on the other hand live in fields, that have public footpaths going through them. much greater chance of spreading an infection. my nan used to have chickens in the back garden, it used to be relatively common. I think I might even remember them vaaguely. i guess things would have been a bit different with H5N1 back then.
I think restriction would and should be a lot more extensive for a viral outbreak. Especially H5N1.
Don't we have better quality beef now because of the BSE scare?