Deadly bird flu outbreaks are starting in new places – Expert Reaction

The deadly H5N1 virus first emerged in China in 1996 but it is now infecting and killing increasing numbers of wild birds and poultry, as well as posing a risk to humans. Since 2014, there have been several outbreaks of similar bird flu viruses in the H5 group, and the research found that while 2016/17 outbreaks started in China, two new H5 group viruses emerged from African and European countries – suggesting a shift of the H5 epicentre away from Asia. The authors suggest that the increasing persistence of bird flu in wild bird populations is driving the evolution and spread of new strains.

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