Is Bird Flu an Imminent Threat
Across the globe, avian influenza viruses have been challenging the health of birds, mammals, and even people for the past twenty years.
While tens of millions of wild birds, domestic birds, sea lions, etc., have died or been culled over the past two years, health leaders are focused on protecting people from the Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) bird flu outbreak.
From 2003 to July 14, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) documented 878 cases of HPAI H5N1 infection in humans and 458 (52.16%) fatalities in 23 countries.
The occurrence of genetic variations among HPAI H5N1 strains raises concerns about potential transmission and public health risks.
This paper, published in the journal Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, Volume 55, September–October 2023, offers a comprehensive overview of the current understanding and new insights into HPAI H5N1.
The origin and evaluation of HPAI H5N1 are examined, shedding light on its emergence and spread across different geographic regions.
The genome organization and structural biology of the H5N1 virus are explored, providing insights into its molecular composition and key structural features.
This manuscript also delves into the phylogeny, evolution, mutational trends, reservoirs, and transmission routes of HPAI H5N1.
The immune response against HPAI H5N1 and its implications for vaccine development are analyzed, along with exploring the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of HPAI H5N1 in human cases.
Furthermore, diagnostic tools and preventive and therapeutic strategies are discussed, highlighting the current approaches and potential future directions for better managing the possible pandemic.
Research should focus on improving vaccine efficacy, broadening the scope of protection across various viral strains, and optimizing vaccine delivery strategies, wrote these researchers.
Over the past few years, the U.S. government has invested in and authorized various bird flu vaccines targeting specific types of avian influenza.
The government controls and would distribute these vaccines in case of a bird flu pandemic impacting human health.