United Kingdom

Spike in bird flu outbreaks increases risk of human infection, warn UN agencies

(Reuters) – Three United Nations agencies warned on Wednesday that a continued rise in bird flu outbreaks around the world raised fears the virus was no longer adapting easily to infect humans, and urged countries to step up surveillance diseases and to improve hygiene in poultry farms.

Earlier this year, a new H5N1 strain of highly contagious bird flu among wild birds spread explosively to new geographic regions, infecting and killing various species of mammals and raising fears of a pandemic in humans.

However, only half a dozen cases in people who have been in close contact with infected birds have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), and most of them have been mild.