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‘Bird Flu’ detected at Australian egg farm, raising ‘pandemic’ concerns

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Avian influenza has been confirmed at an egg farm near Meredith, 40km northwest of Geelong, leading to a lockdown due to fears that this could be the strain responsible for poultry deaths worldwide and a potential global pandemic threat.

On Wednesday, Agriculture Victoria announced the detection of the virus following several poultry fatalities at the facility, according to a report today in the UK Daily Mail.

The farm is now under ‘quarantine’, with officials from Agriculture Victoria on-site to assist the business and conduct further investigations.

Samples from the affected birds have been forwarded to the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness in Geelong to identify the virus strain, according to a statement from Agriculture Victoria.

Avian influenza is a thought to be a highly infectious viral disease that can cause severe symptoms and rapid mortality in domestic poultry, often decimating flocks.

A particularly lethal strain, HPAI clade, has been causing significant outbreaks and deaths in bird populations globally.

However, this deadly strain has not been found in Australia yet, the Department of Agriculture confirmed.

The virus has also allegedly been transmitted to mammals, including humans, leading to various symptoms. Some infected individuals have experienced mild or no symptoms, while others have faced severe illnesses.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued warnings about the potential for the H5N1 strain, which is currently mutating on farms, to cause a human pandemic.

Earlier this month, the CDC highlighted the pandemic potential of avian flu viruses and discussed ‘vaccine strategies’ in case of human transmission.

A recent case involving a Texas dairy farm worker who allegedly contracted the ‘bird flu’ from a cow is said to be the second person in the U.S. and the first globally to be suspected of contracting the ‘virus’ from a mammal.

In the past 20 years, nearly 900 people across 23 countries have been infected with the H5N1 strain, all linked to exposure to wild or domestic birds.

Dr. Vivien Dugan, head of the CDC’s flu division, maintains that the risk to the general public remains low. However, she noted that repeated infections in cattle could make the virus endemic in these animals, increasing the risk of human transmission, particularly among those in close contact with these animals.

Image credit: Egor Myznik

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  1. Looks like this one wasn’t a lab leak like the last natural zoonotic pandemic, they learned from their mistakes and have taken it up a couple of notches this time, bravo.

  2. Here we go again, yet another excuse to cluck about pandemics….and rob people of their basic human rights….


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