Bird flu is ‘100 times worse than the Covid pandemic’, a report by Daily Mail stated. According to the UK-based tabloid, bird flu can lead to high fatalities. Several scientists have raised alarm over the latest bird flu outbreak in the US.

Dr Suresh Kuchipudi, bird flu researcher in Pittsburgh told Daily Mail, “We are not really talking about a virus that is yet to make a jump, we are talking about a virus that is globally present, already infecting a range of mammals and is circulating.” He added that it is high time that people get prepared.

Another expert John Fulton said: “This appears to be 100 times worse than Covid, or it could be if it mutates and maintains its high case fatality rate.”

He added that if the flu infects humans, then there is only hope that the fatality rate drops.

Bird flu

The bird flu virus that is now drawing attention was first identified in 1959. Since 2020, the virus has spread among more animal species — including dogs and cats in several countries.

The symptoms of bird flu are like any other flu, including cough, body aches, and fever. However, some people may even develop severe, life-threatening pneumonia.

Since 2022, there have been two documented instances of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, being transmitted to humans in the United States. One notable case included a farm worker based in Texas who displayed symptoms indicative of bird flu exposure such as conjunctivitis. According to various media outlets, avian influenza has led to deadly infections among individuals exposed regularly to either domestic or wild birds.

The H5N1 strain, presently accountable for the reported cases, has not yet reached a level of virulence that would easily facilitate extensive human transmission. Nonetheless, scientific experts continue to diligently monitor its potential evolutionary trajectory which could significantly enhance its contagion capacity among humans, thereby creating a possibility for a worldwide outbreak.

Bird flu vaccine for humans

The US has a stockpile of vaccines matched with the strain of bird flu currently circulating, as well as antivirals that could be used to treat human infections. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has sample or “seed” strains of the virus that manufacturers could use to make more vaccines.

Pharma giants such as Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline are also monitoring avian flu to develop avian flu vaccines as and when the need arises.

(Business Today)