New pandemic fears as bird flu mutation may infect humans ‘like Covid’ – expert

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    A deadly strain of avian bird flu has mutated and can now impact mammals, prompting experts to warn that humans are now “playing with fire”.

    Just a year after most of the world came out of a pandemic, news of the new strain of bird flu has sparked fears of a new one after 50 million poultry were slaughtered in Europe in the space of one year.

    And a new scientific study into the strain has shown the avian flu has been transmitted from wild birds to a group of mink on a farm in the Spanish city of La Coruna.

    READ MORE: 'I begged daughter to leave psycho partner – then he slaughtered her and my grandkids'

    The study, published on top infectious disease surveillance website Euro Surveillance, states the outbreak happened in Spain in October 2022.

    It claims the Coronavirus was passed from farmed minks to humans during the pandemic – and it can happen against with the new strain of avian flu, labelled as HPAI H5N1.

    The experts state: “Despite the criticism fur farming has recently received following SARS-CoV-2 cases in farmed minks and the spillover/spillback SARS-CoV-2 transmission events reported between minks and humans, this production sector is still common worldwide with an important economic impact.

    “For this reason, and given the concerns caused by the susceptibility of minks to emerging viruses such as HPAI H5N1 viruses and SARS-CoV-2, it is necessary to strengthen the culture of biosafety and biosecurity in this farming system and promote the implementation of ad hoc surveillance programs for influenza A viruses and other zoonotic pathogens at a global level.

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    “These interventions are instrumental to prevent contact between minks and wild animals, and to control disease transmission events from minks to farm workers and vice versa.”

    This warning prompted several experts to come out in force on social media to warn of what could happen.

    Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans said humans are now “playing with fire”, while British doctor Jeremy Farrar added: “The greatest risk of a devastating flu pandemic is avian or animal flu that infects intermediate mammals, and evolves to mammal-to-mammal and human-to-human transmission with little or no human immunity.”

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