Mysterious “Bird Flu” Is Hitting Humans Now


( – A new strain of bird flu that’s emerged in southeast Asia could be spreading between humans, according to reports. The World Health Organisation says the situation is “worrying.” Experts have been concerned about avian flu previously, though, and so far, we’ve avoided a serious pandemic.

On February 22, an 11-year-old Cambodian girl died from H5N1 avian flu, the disease’s first human victim of 2023. Two days later, her father tested positive for the same flu strain; 11 other people who were in contact with the girl are waiting on test results, and several are showing symptoms. So far, the latest H5N1 epidemic, which began growing last year, has only infected eight people, who are all suspected to have caught it from infected birds. Local health officials are worried the disease is now spreading from human to human.

H5N1 has spread to humans before, but it’s rare. During a 1997 Hong Kong outbreak, when 18 people caught the disease and six died, officials believed victims were catching the virus from other humans, but it turned out all had caught it from infected chickens. When the territory’s livestock markets were cleared of chickens, the outbreak ended.

The latest outbreak is more alarming because it’s already spread more widely, and more than 200 million birds had to be slaughtered around the world. Every state in the US has already been affected; now, the WHO says the situation in Cambodia is a concern.

It might be too early to panic just yet, though. H5N1 has been around for a while, and although it constantly evolves, like any other virus, it’s never caused a major human epidemic — despite alarming predictions. In 2005, British scientist Neil Ferguson, one of the alarmists who pushed for pandemic restrictions in 2020, predicted 200 million people could die from H5N1. Eighteen years later, the total number of human fatalities from the disease is just 455. Bird flu could become a serious human health risk, but right now, there’s no reason to panic.

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