Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Bird flu found in poultry only (no people, yet) in Britain and the Netherlands
Vox, in a story by Julia Belluz on Nov. 17, is reporting on cases of “bird flu” in animals only, in Europe, resulting in killings of poultry and import-export bans. Variations of the disease (H5N8) have been found in Britain and in the Netherlands, at least.
So far, no humans have been infected. The viruses are very contagious among birds and some other mammals. In SE Asia, they have sometimes been transmitted to humans and then it has been highly lethal. It has never been easily transmitted from one human to another, but this may have happened in China or Indonesia in isolated cases. The Vox story is here.
This sounds like something where we ought to be working on a vaccine quickly. Would this percolate as a pandemic among humans somewhere in the world, it would be much worse than Ebola because it might be transmissible from the air. Imagine a travel ban from Europe!
ABC had aired a film “Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America”, directed by David Pearce, in 2005, actually filmed around Richmond, VA.