Tuguegarao City – A new outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza virus also referred to as ‘bird flu’ has been reported in Huhan, China. The strain of the virus has been described by China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs as ‘pathogenic’ and known to have originated from a farm in Shaoyang City in the southern province of Hunan. The CMARA said that the outbreak started at the aforementioned farm where 4,500 out of 7,850 chickens died because of H5N1.
The residents of the province had no choice but to cull and exterminate about 18,000 chickens with the supervision of local authorities after the bird flu outbreak was declared in the province. The virus, was first detected in 1996 from geese and is mostly deadly to poultry. According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, many human infections with avian influenza viruses have occurred after prolonged and close contact with infected birds.
Rare human-to-human spread has occurred with this virus is highly lethal to humans who contract it with a mortality rate of more than 50% in cases over the last 15 years. This statistic makes H5N1 bird flu more lethal to humans than either SARS that has 10 percent mortality rate or the novel coronavirus at 2 percent so far. According to the Department of Health there still are no cases of H5N1 in the country but strict control measures for the import of poultry and game birds from the origin of the virus are being implemented by the Philippine government. TNF