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A deadly new strain of bird flu threatens to become a worldwide pandemic, health officials warn.

Britain’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam says the strain, which has already killed one-third of infected patients in China, could be the feared Disease X, an unknown pathogen that could cause an international health crisis.

The H7N9 avian flu virus has infected 1,600 people and killed more than 600 in China since October 2016. Most of the infected came in contact with contaminated poultry, the World Health Organization said.

The virus didn’t infect humans until 2013, when it was first discovered in China. After sporadic outbreaks over five years, its spread has reached critical mass: The Centers for Disease Control said it has the “greatest potential to cause a pandemic” of all human viruses.

Instances of person-to-person spread are extremely rare so far, but the CDC warned it will likely spread to other countries if travelers come into contact with poultry carrying the infection in China. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organizations already detected three imported cases, one in Malaysia and two in Canada, in 2018.

No cases have been reported in the United States, but it’s unclear how quickly the virus spreads. Van-Tam told The Telegraph that H7N9 has a higher rate of mortality than any other pandemic-causing virus.


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Chinese Bird Flu Virus Threatens To Become Deadly Disease X Pandemic
By Pritha Paul @ZiggyZina143
06/15/18 AT 7:23 AM

A deadly strain of bird flu was detected in Chinese poultry, which is capable of starting a worldwide influenza pandemic.

The existence of the disease was first drawn to the public’s attention by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, who said that H7N9, a flu virus circulating in poultry in China, should be a cause for concern for all people alike, as it kills 38 percent of those who get infected by it.

“[H7N9] is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans. It’s possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic,” he said, the Telegraph reported.
Also, the mortality rate of the virus is likely to change if it happens to become a pandemic in the future, Van-Tam predicted.
“Mortality is about 38 per cent of known cases, higher than any of the human pandemic viruses. But it would be wrong to think we could have a pandemic virus in future that could kill 38 per cent of people. It would change,” he said.

Van-Tam added that British government is conducting in-depth research on the virus in an attempt to find out the best method to tackle it and stop it from becoming a global threat. As part of the research, the government is trying to gather intelligence on its geographic spread, number of humans it has infected and monitoring changes in its genetic structure.
The growing concern regarding the Chinese bird flu comes amid stark warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding something called “Disease X” — a mysterious and yet undiscovered pathogen that could present itself at any time in the near or distant future causing a worldwide pandemic and eradicating mankind as we know it.
Disease X could be a mutation of an already known disease, such a strain of the flu, an infection transmitted from animals to humans or a virus created by humans in labs, WHO claimed, when it added the unknown disease to its annual list of up to 10 “blueprint priority diseases.”

The basis of drawing people’s attention to Disease X is to acknowledge that outbreaks do not always come from an identified source and to prevent an outbreak like the 1918 Spanish flu which killed between 50 and 100 million people a century ago.

However, there hasn’t been any indication from WHO to suggest that the Chinese bird flu could become Disease X. Here are the facts that are known about H7N9 so far:

1. Its initial symptoms in humans include high fever, cough, shortness of breath and pneumonia. In severe cases, the lungs are incapable of providing the body with enough oxygen and as a result, acute respiratory distress syndrome occurs. This eventually leads to septic shock and multi-organ failure.
2. The people who are most likely to develop the severe form of the disease after contracting the virus were pregnant women and the aged.
3. This strain of bird flu was closely related to H5N1, a type A bird flu which crossed into humans in 2003.
“H5N1 was first isolated in 1997 and has had 19 years to float around. It’s had its chance to cause a worldwide pandemic but it looks like it’s not going to do it. But H7N9 is younger and stronger and is now waiting for its opportunity,” John Oxford, professor of virology at Queen Mary University of London, said.
4. So far 1,625 people in China have been reportedly infected with the H7N9 virus and 623 of them have died. Most of the people who were infected had come in some form of contact with the poultry market.
5. Although it is difficult to assess when the virus was first detected among birds, it showed up in humans back in 2013.
6. The present strain of the virus is not contagious. However, scientists have determined through experiments on animals that it was just three mutations away from being transferable from one human to another.
7. In the winter of 2016-17, there were 460 cases of H7N9 among humans – the highest in the last five. Only three cases of the virus were reported this year.

The good news is, so far, there is no evidence of human to human transmission.


Time to make sure you have adequate supplies of elderberry syrup, or the dried berries to make it, as well as masks, gloves, disinfectant, etc...

The supply lines on all that stuff are thinner than most people understand, and if you wait until a major pandemic hits the news, you'll be one of millions who want the stuff.



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Heads up to our Great Britain members!

Bird flu: Chief vet stresses importance of biosecurity as third bird tests positive

Rachel Martin
Jun 19, 2018, 5:08pm

Bird flu: Chief vet stresses importance of biosecurity as third bird tests positive

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today confirmed that a second wild greylag goose, found in Lurgan Park, Co. Armagh, has tested positive for H5N6 Avian Influenza.

The second goose, like the first, was reported to DAERA as part of its dead wild bird surveillance programme.

It’s the third bird to test positive with the disease in Northern Ireland this year; the first being a buzzard in Co. Antrim.

All three were submitted for testing at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), where testing has indicated avian influenza subtype H5N6.

‘Remain Vigilant And Review Biosecurity’
The chief veterinary officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Robert Huey, said: “This latest case in a wild bird further emphasises the requirement for all bird keepers to remain vigilant and to critically review their biosecurity measure.

“For example, feeding and watering birds under cover to help reduce the risk of their poultry coming in contact with wild birds. It is important that flock keepers report early any suspicions of disease.

“While it is not unexpected to find another case of avian flu in a wild bird in close proximity to the confirmed case last week, and the risk to poultry remains low, it is important that flock keepers remain vigilant and it is essential that we take the necessary steps to protect our poultry industry, international trade and the wider economy.

“I continue to encourage strongly all bird keepers to register their flocks. This will ensure they receive the latest information from the Department and also allow them to be contacted in an avian disease outbreak enabling them to protect their flock at the earliest opportunity.

“I would also encourage bird keepers to subscribe to the Avian Influenza text service by simply texting: ‘BIRDS’ to 67300.”

General Bird Flu Advice
Bird keepers visiting waterfowl sites such as lakes and ponds should also take measures to prevent disease spread to backyard flocks through contamination of footwear with wild bird faeces.

Advice from the Public Health Agency is that the risk to public health from the virus is very low. However, the public are advised to take appropriate biosecurity precautions before touching or picking up birds that are dead, or appear to be sick or dying. Further advice can be found on the DAERA website.

The Food Standards Agency has confirmed that Avian Influenza does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers. Thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Members of the public are encouraged to report dead waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, to the DAERA helpline on: 0300-200-7840.


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Bulgaria Agriculture Minister: Million eggs to be withdrawn from market because of bird flu Written by The Sofia Globe staff on June 22, 2018 in Bulgaria
More than a million eggs are to be withdrawn from the Bulgarian market because of outbreaks of bird flu in the country, Agriculture Minister Roumen Porozhanov said in a June 22 television interview.

The step was necessary in order to halt the spread of the disease, he said, adding that it was not dangerous to human health.

Bird flu was a problem for Bulgarian poultry breeders for a second consecutive year, Porozhanov told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television.

Authorities expected that there would be further outbreaks, so serious steps had to be taken against the infection, he said.

Porozhanov also warned of the danger of the African swine fever virus, which was already threatening the borders of Bulgarian.

He said that incidents of the disease had been detected about 150 to 160km from the Bulgarian border. “We wil have to take preventative measures and adequate solutions against the disease,” he said.

Pig farmers were already taking precautions. “One source of the disease are foods such as fresh sausages, which can be spread by tourists coming from the affected areas,” he said. Wild boars also could be carriers of African swine fever, Porozhanov said.

Representatives of the largest pig breeding farms in Bulgaria already have urged the state to take urgent action against the spread of African swine fever.


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China reports highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu at chicken farm

June 27 2018 4:00 PM

China has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu at a farm in its northwest Qinghai province, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said, citing a report from the Chinese agriculture ministry.

It is the first case of the H5N1 strain of flu to be reported on a Chinese poultry farm since 2014, according to the OIE’s database of notices from the Chinese agriculture ministry.

But the virus has been reported in Nepal and Bhutan this year, both countries that share borders with China’s northwest.

The virus killed 1,050 broiler chickens out of a flock of 1,615 at a farm in the Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan autonomous prefecture. The remaining birds were killed and disposed of, the ministry said.

Some strains of the often lethal H5N1 virus can be transmitted to humans. The case is the sixth case of highly pathogenic bird flu reported by China this year, compared with just four cases reported to the OIE in 2017, according to its website.

Most of the cases reported in China this year have been a highly pathogenic form of H7N9, the same strain that killed hundreds of people in China last year, hitting consumer demand and leaving the egg and broiler industries reeling.

The virus did not have a big impact on poultry last year but has mutated into a more lethal form. All four H7N9 cases reported this year were on layer farms - or farms producing eggs - with the most recent case killing more than 9,000 hens in northeastern Liaoning province.

That’s despite a nationwide vaccination program against the virus that began last autumn.


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Ghana reports outbreaks of H5 bird flu on farms
Reuters Staff


PARIS (Reuters) - Ghana has reported two outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5 bird flu on farms, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Friday, citing a report from Ghana’s agriculture ministry.

One of the outbreaks killed 5,431 birds out of an 11,000-strong flock on a farm in Boankra in the Ashanti region, while the other killed 5,935 out of 13,188 birds on a farm in Nkawkaw in the Eastern region, the report said.

The remaining birds in the flocks were all slaughtered.

The outbreak in Eastern region followed the illegal movement of birds from the outbreak farm in Ashanti, the report added.

Ghana earlier this year reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H9N2 bird flu on a farm in the southwest.


Crusty ol' Codger
It's only a matter of time. One of these microbes will break loose and wreak havoc on humanity. It's not IF.....just WHEN. And when it does it will make the Black Death look like a summer cold.