UN Flashes Red Beeper On Avian Swine Flu

The UN has cautioned that the unearthing of the H1N1 virus in avian species in Chile is bound to escalate the proliferation of the virus. In the past week, the swine flu virus was detected in turkeys in two poultry farms located close to the Valparaiso harbour. The UN is currently apprehensive about its spread to poultry farms globally. Researchers are anxious about the imminent, grim, hypothetical scenario wherein the virus might merge with more lethal strains, with a menacing track record of earlier infecting pigs after humans. Yet, the severity of swine flu continues to remain no bigger than in comparison with the seasonal flu.

The provisional-head veterinary official, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Dr. Juan Lubroth has stated that the ailing birds are not posing a significant risk to the food chain and after they have recuperated, the normalization of secure producing and processing could ensue. The authorities in Chile have created a makeshift quarantine for the sick birds to recuperate instead to culling them. It is believed that the occurrence depicts an overrun originating from contaminated farm employees to turkeys. Countries like Canada, Australia and Argentina have in the past cited the proliferation of the swine flu virus from farm staff to pigs.

The surfacing of a highly perilous flu strain continues to be a conjectural risk. Diverse viral strains have the potential to combine by the method known as genetic re-arrangement. As yet, no H5N1 avian flu cases in Chile have emerged. Nevertheless, Dr. Lubroth has pointed out that the H5N1 viral strain is quite prevalent in the poultry sector of South-east Asia and with the addition of the H1N1 strain in such populace would have a snowballing effect.

Mr. Colin Butter belonging to the Institute of Animal Health in UK concurs to this rising concern hoping that the occurrence would remain one-off. He mentioned to BBC News that detailed, on-going monitoring is crucial not only in regards to the H5N1 form but also any additional H1N1 spread among bird forms or from avian to human beings would be highly detrimental making it more difficult to control due to its likelihood of altering.

Mr. William Karesh, the V.P. of the Wildlife Conservation Society, who has researched the proliferation of animal diseases, has articulated that he is the least bit astonished by the occurrence, though the location does raise many eyebrows, but the reason could be that Chile has a proficient scrutiny system. Though, the singular steady factor in such situations is the constant change.


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