China Faces H5N1 Bird Flu Outbreak As Wuhan Virus Continues To Spread
As the world grapples with the Wuhan virus outbreak which has shown few signs of stopping, China has a new enemy to battle — the H5N1 bird flu.
Based on a report by The Straits Times (ST), the virus has infected over 7,850 chickens on the farm where the outbreak occurred.
4,500 of them have since died.
H5N1 bird flu affects thousands of livestock
China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs first reported the outbreak on a farm in Hunan yesterday (1 Feb), according to ST.
The strain of H5N1 bird flu is “highly pathogenic”, meaning that they can cause diseases such as viruses, which are very dangerous.
Fortunately, the virus has only infected birds so far, leading authorities to cull 17,828 poultry as part of preventive measures.
No human cases have surfaced yet.
Outbreak not exclusive to China
China, however, isn’t the only country facing the bird flu outbreak.
Citing the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), ST reports that India has also reported cases of the “highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus” on a farm in Baikunthpur.
5,634 birds died, while authorities had to slaughter the 15,426 others. This is from a report by India’s fisheries and animal husbandry ministry.
Humans currently not at risk of infection
As startling as this news and the numbers may be, there’s no apparent risk to humans as yet, so there’s no need to panic.
The novel coronavirus is more than enough for us to deal with right now, so let’s hope we can fight that first.
Of course, we’re hoping that the relevant authorities can get the H5N1 bird flu under control too, for the sake of the poor animals.
All lives are precious, and we certaintly wouldn’t want another viral outbreak on our hands. Stay safe, and keep your loved ones safe too, everyone.
Featured image adapted from Cosmos.