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Avian influenza virus spreads in the Americas due to climate change — DNOTICIAS.PT

Avian influenza virus spreads in the Americas due to climate change — DNOTICIAS.PT

An expert from the World Health Organization admitted today that the H5N1 virus that causes bird flu is expanding rapidly on continents such as the Americas due to factors such as climate change.

“Climate change has affected the routes of migratory birds, and this has played a role in the unprecedented spread of the H5N1 virus in animals,” Zhang Wenqing, who heads the WHO's global influenza programme, said at a press conference.

The expert explained that version of the virus appeared in 2020, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to North America in 2021 and reached South America in 2022, causing several outbreaks in birds and mammals.

The World Health Organization acknowledges “exponential growth” since 2020 in the number of infections among birds, in addition to an increasing number of mammals affected, including seals, mink, sea lions, foxes, and more recently cattle and goats.

The recent detection of avian influenza outbreaks among cattle and goats in the United States, where the first case of cow-to-human transmission was identified, has increased the medical community's concern about possible mutations of the virus, which, according to the World Health Organization. , has pandemic and pandemic potential.

The World Health Organization today called for a strengthening of the global H5N1 detection network.

According to the World Health Organization, increased surveillance should extend to milk and dairy products.

Last week, the United Nations agency recommended the consumption of pasteurized milk after strong concentrations of the H5N1 virus were discovered in the milk of cows in the United States.