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Bird Flu’s Deadly Threat: CDC Warns of Impending Pandemic

Daniel Kim Views  

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has warned that highly pathogenic avian influenza, recently reported in human infection cases, could soon become a pandemic.

The Hill reported on the 15th that the former head of the CDC warned about an imminent outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has recently seen cases of human infection.

Robert Redfield, former CDC Director, appeared on NewsNation on the 14th, stating that regarding the avian flu pandemic, “I really do think it’s very likely that we will, at some time, it’s not a question of if, it’s more of a question of when we will have a bird flu pandemic.”

Redfield explained that when avian influenza spreads to humans, the mortality rate is much higher than COVID-19, “somewhere between 25% and 50%.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that from early 2003 to early April, 889 cases of human avian influenza occurred in 23 countries worldwide, with 463 deaths, resulting in a fatality rate of 52%. In contrast, NewsNation reported that the mortality rate for COVID-19 is only 0.6%.

Redfield pointed out that the circumstances under which avian influenza could become a pandemic among humans have already been identified through past experiments and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scientists discovered in a 2012 experiment that five key receptor amino acids must be changed for the avian influenza virus to bind to human cell receptors. Similarly, the COVID-19 virus also went through this process to become a pandemic.

“Once the virus gains the ability to attach to the human receptor and then go human to human, that’s when you’re going to have the pandemic. I think it’s just a matter of time,” he added.

In the United States, three people were reported to have been infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) through dairy cows from March to the end of May.

In Mexico, a man in his 50s became the world’s first confirmed case of H5N2 avian influenza virus infection in April and died within a week. However, Mexican authorities concluded that the patient died of sepsis due to chronic disease, and the avian influenza infection was not related to the cause of death.

Recent cases of human infection with avian influenza have been confirmed in Australia and India.

WHO has previously expressed concern that if H5N1 begins to spread in the mammalian population, the risk of spread will increase, and the virus could evolve to the point where human-to-human transmission occurs.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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