Bird Flu is Now Trending Towards a Serious Problem
Over the past few years the H5N1 Bird Flu Virus has been spreading around the world killing millions of birds. Up until recently cross species infections have been very rare and limited, but changes in its PB2 gene has changed all this. Chile, Agentina and Peru are all reporting Sea Lion deaths, Italy, Spain, Poland, the UK and Canada reporting other mammal infections. in the UK, the H5N1 188.8.131.52b strain seems dominant, but a recent PB2 mutations E627K and T271A, seem to allow it to pass onto mammals much easier, suggesting a change towards doing this.
Recent reports are:
13/07/2023 – Chile reported 13,000 sea lion deaths associated with H5N1 virus.
07/07/2023 – 5 dogs and a cat tested positive for H5N1 virus in Italy.
27/06/2023 – Poland notifies World Health Organisation of unusual number of cats deaths from H5N1 influenza (Bird Flu) virus. 29 Cats had tested positive for it, the normal numbers for cross species usually being in the occasional 1 or 2. It was noted and suggested that the virus had 2 mutations that made it easier to transmit to mammals.
30/03/2023 – Avian flu (H5N1) is being found in more wild mammals in the UK that have high exposure to infected birds.
11/03/2023 – Bird flu (Highly pathogenic avian influenza, HPAI, H5N1) still expanding in UK, a lot of cases in Suffolk and Norfolk, but expanding in North Yorkshire, Cumbria and especially Essex, so it can be found now in most counties and expanding.
23/02/2023 – a number of wild animals found to have H5N1 virus with PB2 mutation.
05/02/2023 – Avian Flu (H5N1) likely to spread much faster and maybe to other species due to upcoming migrations of birds from continent, including humans, after events of recent infection of fatalities in Caspian Sea to seals, a Mink farm in Spain and discovery of it in Otters and Foxes in UK.
24/01/2023 – 50,000 Farmed Mink destroyed in Spain because of H5N1 bird flu infections that were found in up to 10% of cases. It’s interesting that in 2001 around 13,000 mink were set free from a mink farm in Spain by unknown people.
23/01/2023 – Bird Flu (H5N1) in Cheshire, West Lancashire, Devon and Wiltshire.
15/12/2022 – Bird Flu (H5N1) is still spreading and has now been found in Herefordshire in UK. So far Wales has been mainly free, but with birds migrating due to the winter from the continent this is unlikely to continue. It is still mainly in the East of the UK, but has been found as far south as Torquay, Devon and as far north as Banff in Scotland.
14/11/2022 – Highly infectious version of bird flu centred around 0.5 mile NW of Arundel, West Sussex. 3Km Captive Bird Monitoring Zone set up. Main cluster centred on Dereham, Norfolk.
22/10/2022 – At least 20 swans die from bird flu, H5N1, in Swindon, UK lake. All poultry and captive birds in UK legally need to be kept inside from November 7th with Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex having the most cases in largest outbreak seen.