Sunday, March 19, 2017

Deadly Strain of Pathogenic Bird-Flu Identified in Indian Zoo

Early today and alarming discovery was published stating that researchers have found a new strain of highly pathogenic bird flu virus, H5N8, in India.  This strain has been noted to have previously killed birds in Delhi and Gwalior zoos in October of last year.  The strain has been possibly introduced by wild birds that migrate to different parts of India from other countries during the early fall to spring.  Upon further genetic analysis, this strain of H5N8 carries two gene recombinants from the already isolated H5N8 viruses from the Russian Federation, Mongolia, Vietnam, China and Eurasia.  In the past, this region of India has been mostly associated with the H5N1 species of bird flu, but the reason for the sudden appearance of this new strain has puzzled scientists.  Based upon our current knowledge of the flu, the spread of a mutated flu species into new regions and demographics is not very uncommon, however, in the case of avian flu with its notorious reputation for lethality, further containment and analysis efforts are a priority.

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