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Baker insists on preparedness as first human case of ‘Bird Flu’ confirmed in Australia

Bird Flu news

As Australia announces its first human case of bird flu, New Zealand’s public health authorities are emphasising the importance of readiness for the ‘H5N1 strain’.

For over two years, the H5N1 avian influenza strain has been circulating among wild birds and poultry globally, according to a report in state media today. Recent events, including human infections and the virus’s alleged spread to cattle in the United States, have heightened concerns in some experts about the strain mutating to facilitate easier transmission between humans.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that such mutations could initiate ‘a new influenza pandemic’, akin to those seen in 1918 and 2009 with the H1N1 strain. “The H5N1 virus is continually evolving, posing a potential risk of becoming easily transmissible among people,” WHO noted on its website.

In response to these developments ‘health experts’ here convened at a Public Health Communication Centre briefing last week, emphasising the urgency of bolstering pandemic preparedness against H5N1’s growing threat. Pundits Michael Baker, Nigel French, and Sue Huang want the national pandemic plan updated with enhanced public health measures, including access to testing, vaccines, antivirals, and infection prevention resources.

Baker stressed the necessity of refining pandemic plans and conducting inter-agency practice exercises to mitigate the impact of potential pandemics. “We need robust pandemic preparedness to tackle emerging threats like H5N1,” Baker said.

The experts also highlighted the significance of a ‘One Health‘ approach, which involves coordinated surveillance and response efforts across health agencies, environmental groups, and the agricultural sector to promptly identify and respond to potential outbreaks.

“This integrated approach is not only crucial for managing the current risk but also benefits New Zealand in controlling existing infections,” Baker added.

The spread of H5N1 to new mammalian hosts is particularly alarming, raising concerns about the virus’s ‘pandemic potential’. According to The Lancet, the virus’s expanding host range, geographical spread, and significant bird outbreaks all point to a substantial pandemic risk. Major funders of the The Lancet include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Big Pharma investor the Wellcome Trust.

Nigel French of Massey University also supports the ‘one health’ approach, given the virus’s impact on animals and potential human infection risks. “New Zealand’s collaborative efforts among health agencies, environmental groups, and the farming sector are vital for early detection and response to any bird flu incursion,” French explained.

Globally, from 2003 until April 1, 2024, WHO reported 889 H5N1 cases and 463 deaths across 23 countries. The recent spread of the virus to dairy cattle in nine U.S. states, including cases among farm workers, underscores the virus’s unpredictability. It is not clear if testing for the virus is being done by the now largely discredited PCR format.

Despite the fear-mongering, the risk to the general public remains low, with no evidence of human-to-human transmission, as stated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, a recent study suggested the virus had been circulating among wildlife and cattle since late 2023, transmitted initially by wild birds.

Australia’s recent confirmation of a human H5N1 case in a child returning from abroad, and the detection of another strain, H7N3, on a Victorian egg farm, was proof of the virus’s unpredictable nature. Prof. French remarked, “This case in Australia reflects the typical pattern of human bird flu infections – severe but sporadic, with no sustained transmission.”

The WHO advises enhanced surveillance where there is exposure to outbreaks or confirmed human infections. “International travel by infected individuals could lead to detection in other countries, though community spread remains unlikely,” WHO stated.

So far, there are no known animal or human H5N1 cases in New Zealand. The virus is a notifiable disease, requiring health professionals to report any suspected or confirmed cases.

In addition to ongoing surveillance, New Zealand is proactive in developing monitoring systems for bird flu in wildlife, with efforts led by Prof. French at Te Niwha and involving the University of Otago and Environmental Science and Research (ESR). The Department of Conservation (DOC) is also exploring vaccinations for endangered native birds.

With a potential “tsunami” of bird flu expected, Biosecurity New Zealand and the Department of Conservation have prepared contingency plans to prevent and detect any virus entry through human activities.

The exact transmission routes of H5N1 remain uncertain, though there is evidence of various animal-to-animal and limited animal-to-human transmissions. The discovery of viral traces in dairy cattle’s milk suggests possible transmission during milking processes.

Despite these theories, it’s still not confirmed whether H5N1 can spread through respiratory droplets as typical flu viruses do. A Michigan farm worker’s tests, which were negative in state labs but positive in CDC tests, suggest unusual transmission methods, possibly through eye contact with infected material.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. These “experts” are salivating at the mere thought of subjecting said pleb class to more abject brutality. Just imagine if Labour were still in power????

  2. Is there any truth to the rumour Baker is contemplating a political future running on the “Idiocracy” ticket?

    • Hopefully NZ First, with their freedom- loving caucus will have enough influence to prevent the madness of vaccine mandates, should that raise its ugly head again during this term of govt. I’d really like though for NZ First to start by being more proactive in heading this fear- based rhetoric off at the pass, right now.

  3. “Vaccinate” so basically we will spread the flu no doubt to NZ
    So wont stop them catching it or spreading it no doubt…….this guy is an absolute shill

  4. Yeah, didn’t buy the first time and wont be buying again, either. This all pandemic business, especially COVID, needs to be criminally investigated and until it is, any so called govt in office has ZERO credibility, as far as I’m concerned and that goes for its various institutions and functionaries, too.

  5. Human’s can not get bird flu from bird’s, our human H protein prevents this.
    At the end of the day, it is just the flu.

    • Yep sure is. I read where this one doctor was reading an article in the Lacet, only to find out his name was one of the authors and he had zero to do with the study. They later had to retract the “study”

  6. BULL****!
    Mikey Baker has NO credibility, nor does his associated globalist-inspired ilk!
    IF the H5N1 is transmissible to humans as per the untrustworthy MSM, then this means that there has been a ‘gain of function’. However,
    Anon above is correct; the Human H Protein does prevent the cross-over from bird to human.

  7. I did not consent last time I will not consent this time, to anything the govr. push. Change the record we have heard this song before and it was rubbish the first time.

  8. Humans cannot catch bird flu unless it is an engineered virus.
    So, if humans do catch bird flu, then a virus will have been deliberately released (again) by definition.
    And I thought that the Nazis were bad …

    • Calm down there chicken little. There are no “engineered viruses”, just overlapping bull**** narratives and poison needles presented as cures.

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