Experts are concerned about the potential of bird flu, or avian flu, to become more transmissible among humans and potentially spark another pandemic. The current outbreak circulating across North and South America is known as H5N1 clade 18.104.22.168b, which has killed record numbers of birds and infected mammals. While human cases remain rare, some warn that the virus is gathering momentum and becoming more of a human threat. The key to helping stop this virus from spreading into something more dangerous is making sure the virus does not have a chance to adapt, so it cannot transmit to people in the first place. This strain of bird flu first showed up in Canada in December 2021 and has gone through three waves, with Canada currently in the third wave. Although the overall transmission risk is low, the virus does have high consequences for humans, and its mortality rate is on par with viruses like Ebola. The death rate for COVID-19 is a little more than one per cent in Canada, according to Our World Data. There isn’t a perceptible risk of getting the virus by eating chicken or turkey meat, as the virus would be killed when the meat was cooked. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are making a stockpile of vaccines for this type of H5N1. It is almost certain that at least three pharmaceutical companies, GSK, CSL Seqirus, and Moderna, are developing vaccines that match the circulating subtype H5N1 and are close to testing it on humans.
Canadian experts express concern over the growing presence of bird flu, with the possibility of it becoming a pandemic- National | Globalnews.ca
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