In the early days of COVID-19, Chinese scientists George Fu Gao and Weifeng Shi warned of the risk posed by the virus in the face of a possible pandemic. Recently, These researchers have launched a new alert, this time about the H5N8 bird flu virus. This pathogen has already been circulating in Europe since 2014 with outbreaks in millions of birds.
In February 2021, this flu that had affected millions of birds so much gave its way to humans in Russia with seven asymptomatic infections. These two Chinese scientists are not very optimistic about the spread of the H5N8 bird flu. They have recently targeted the Science magazine what “The worldwide spread of avian influenza viruses is a public health problem”. Notably, Fu Gao and Shi participated in the identification of COVID-19 in 2019.
Scientists have warned that the bird flu virus also has the potential to cause “disastrous pandemics” and it also seems to increase its affinity with human cells. This variant led to the slaughter of more than 20 million birds in South Korea and Japan. Given these characteristics, they argue that “global spread should not be ignored.”
In your opinion, monitoring factory farms and increasing biosecurity measures would be a very important point to help reduce the risk of the virus leap to humans. However, “the potential risk of H5N8 avian influenza viruses” should be taken into account and their evolution carefully observed.