H5N1 Bird Flu Cases Rise to 92 Across 12 Countries – WHO Reports

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a significant increase in the number of dairy herds affected by the avian influenza virus (H5N1) globally. The virus has now infected 92 herds in 12 countries, nearly tripling the number of affected herds since the last report.

Additionally, the number of human cases has risen from one to three, and the number of people being monitored has more than doubled to 500.

According to Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, the virus has not shown signs of easily spreading among humans, and the risk to public health remains low.

Ghebreyesus emphasized the importance of personal protective equipment for individuals working with infected animals and the need for systematic follow-up, testing, and care for people exposed to the virus.

He also stressed the importance of early medical care and support, as well as thorough and timely investigation of every human infection to evaluate and interrupt potential onward transmission between humans.

WHO is monitoring multiple avian flu viruses in humans through the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System and is urging intensified surveillance of flu viruses among animals globally to rapidly detect any changes to the virus that could pose a greater threat to humans.

Avian influenza virus infections in humans can cause a range of diseases, from mild upper respiratory tract infections to more severe diseases and can be fatal.

Symptoms include conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal symptoms, encephalitis, and encephalopathy.

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