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Bird flu pandemic

The following information was posted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is the best description of a bird flu pandemic that we have seen so far.

"Avian influenza refers to a large group of different influenza viruses that primarily affect birds. On rare occasions, these bird viruses can infect other species, including pigs and humans. The vast majority of avian influenza viruses do not infect humans. An influenza pandemic happens when a new subtype emerges that has not previously circulated in humans. For this reason, avian H5N1 is a strain with pandemic potential, since it might ultimately adapt into a strain that is contagious among humans. Once this adaptation occurs, it will no longer be a bird virus--it will be a human influenza virus. Influenza pandemics are caused by new influenza viruses that have adapted to humans.

Influenza pandemics are recurring events.

An influenza pandemic is a rare but recurrent event. Three pandemics occurred in the previous century: “Spanish influenza” in 1918, “Asian influenza” in 1957, and “Hong Kong influenza” in 1968. The 1918 pandemic killed an estimated 40–50 million people worldwide. That pandemic, which was exceptional, is considered one of the deadliest disease events in human history. Subsequent pandemics were much milder, with an estimated 2 million deaths in 1957 and 1 million deaths in 1968. A pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and starts spreading as easily as normal influenza – by coughing and sneezing. Because the virus is new, the human immune system will have no pre-existing immunity. This makes it likely that people who contract pandemic influenza will experience more serious disease than that caused by normal influenza.

The world may be on the brink of a bird flu pandemic.

Health experts have been monitoring a new and extremely severe influenza virus – the H5N1 strain – for almost eight years. The H5N1 strain first infected humans in Hong Kong in 1997, causing 18 cases, including six deaths. Since mid-2003, this virus has caused the largest and most severe outbreaks in poultry on record. In December 2003, infections in people exposed to sick birds were identified. Since then, over 100 human cases have been laboratory confirmed in four Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Viet Nam), and more than half of these people have died. Most cases have occurred in previously healthy children and young adults. Fortunately, the virus does not jump easily from birds to humans or spread readily and sustainably among humans. Should H5N1 evolve to a form as contagious as normal influenza, a bird flu pandemic could begin.

All countries will be affected.

Once a fully contagious virus emerges, its global spread is considered inevitable. Countries might, through measures such as border closures and travel restrictions, delay arrival of the virus, but cannot stop it. The pandemics of the previous century encircled the globe in 6 to 9 months, even when most international travel was by ship. Given the speed and volume of international air travel today, the virus could spread more rapidly, possibly reaching all continents in less than 3 months.

Widespread illness will occur.

Because most people will have no immunity to the bird flu pandemic virus, infection and illness rates are expected to be higher than during seasonal epidemics of normal influenza. Current projections for the next pandemic estimate that a substantial percentage of the world’s population will require some form of medical care. Few countries have the staff, facilities, equipment, and hospital beds needed to cope with large numbers of people who suddenly fall ill.

WHO will alert the world when the bird flu pandemic threat increases.

WHO works closely with ministries of health and various public health organizations to support countries' surveillance of circulating influenza strains. A sensitive surveillance system that can detect emerging influenza strains is essential for the rapid detection of a pandemic virus. Six distinct phases have been defined to facilitate pandemic preparedness planning, with roles defined for governments, industry, and WHO. The present situation is categorized as phase 3: a virus new to humans is causing infections, but does not spread easily from one person to another."

Below the list are the most up-to-date news headlines relating to the bird flu pandemic threat

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bird flu pandemic - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:15:17 GMTThis RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
H5N8 'Bird Flu' Pandemic, Now Disruptive in South Africa, Might Have Been Controlled by Specific Replikins Vaccines ... - PR Newswire (press release) Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:57:02 GMT

PR Newswire (press release)

H5N8 'Bird Flu' Pandemic, Now Disruptive in South Africa, Might Have Been Controlled by Specific Replikins Vaccines ...
PR Newswire (press release)
BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Replikins, Ltd.'s Dr. Samuel Bogoch spoke this week on the H5N8 current pandemic 'bird flu' H5N8 at the 3rd annual Chernack Conference at Boston University School of Medicine on Crisis & Emergency ...

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Ready for a Global Pandemic? - Foreign Affairs Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:39:43 GMT

Foreign Affairs

Ready for a Global Pandemic?
Foreign Affairs
In such a calamitous scenario, neither the United States nor other countries would be well enough equipped to contain it, increasing the potential for a true national or global catastrophe. Consider the current H7N9 bird flu epidemic in China. It has ...

Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn - New York Times Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:41:34 GMT

New York Times

Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn
New York Times
Many microbiologists consider influenza to be the virus most likely to start a pandemic that kills millions, as the 1918 Spanish flu did. But the flu is notoriously unpredictable. Public health experts have become wary about raising alarms over new ...

Why experts are quietly concerned about bird flu - Axios Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:59:23 GMT

Axios

Why experts are quietly concerned about bird flu
Axios
But there isn't yet a pandemic, and there might never be one. H7N9 could continue to be a small, regional problem like another influenza virus known as H5N1 has, or it could spread (comparatively) harmlessly, like H1N1/swine flu. Regardless, those who ...

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Bird flu is back – Lincolnshire farmers warned to be as vigilant as disease outbreaks in Europe - LincolnshireLive Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:20:39 GMT

LincolnshireLive

Bird flu is back – Lincolnshire farmers warned to be as vigilant as disease outbreaks in Europe
LincolnshireLive
Lincolnshire famers are being urged to be on their guard following confirmation of a bird flu outbreak in Europe. The influenza is known to spread easily among poultry and on rare occasions has also been reported to have been contracted by humans ...

Is It Possible to Predict the Next Pandemic? - The Atlantic Wed, 25 Oct 2017 16:48:32 GMT

The Atlantic

Is It Possible to Predict the Next Pandemic?
The Atlantic
It's been two years since an epidemic of Zika began in Brazil, three since the largest Ebola outbreak in history erupted in West Africa, eight since a pandemic of H1N1 flu swept the world, and almost a hundred since a different H1N1 flu pandemic killed ...

Researchers chase a better fix for the seasonal flu - PBS NewsHour Sat, 18 Nov 2017 20:16:20 GMT

PBS NewsHour

Researchers chase a better fix for the seasonal flu
PBS NewsHour
A pandemic flu is a strain that usually jumps from an animal — often a pig or a bird — to a human…a new strain for which humans have no prior immunity. Osterholm says the risk of a pandemic may be increasing, because meat consumption is growing ...

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World financial leaders simulate a pandemic like Ebola, Marburg or ... - Washington Post Tue, 24 Oct 2017 11:08:03 GMT

Washington Post

World financial leaders simulate a pandemic like Ebola, Marburg or ...
Washington Post
The government ministers were facing a new infectious disease outbreak. The mysterious virus was sickening and killing people with alarming speed.
The Deadly Panic-Neglect Cycle in Pandemic Funding - The AtlanticThe Atlantic

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This Canadian company is on the forefront of global efforts to stop the next pandemic - Cantech Letter Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:28:54 GMT

Cantech Letter

This Canadian company is on the forefront of global efforts to stop the next pandemic
Cantech Letter
A Vancouver-based gene sequencing company is using IBM's cloud capabilities to revolutionize the diagnostic process, aiming to give physicians an eight-hour turnaround in correctly identifying any type of pathogen, from the common flu bug to avian flu ...

Dancing With the Plague - theTrumpet.com Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:00:34 GMT

theTrumpet.com

Dancing With the Plague
theTrumpet.com
We explained these Bible prophecies of the end time in “Is Bird Flu Really a Threat?” Warnings of diseases spread by fleas and rats “falls in line with the warnings in Revelation 6 about the pale horse of the ... When we look at 40 million deaths as a ...

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