The Threat of Avian Influenza

Avian influenza, or bird flu, is a viral infection primarily affecting birds but has recently spread to mammals, including humans. This highly contagious virus poses significant health risks and threatens global food security as it continues to spread across species.

Avian flu poses significant health risks, as certain strains like H5N1 and H7N9 can cause severe respiratory illness and high mortality rates in humans. If these viruses become more easily transmissible between humans, there is a heightened risk of a global pandemic.

Economically, outbreaks lead to substantial losses due to the mass culling of poultry and the resulting disruptions in food supply chains, which increase healthcare costs and affect global food security,

Avicena’s initiatives are working to enhance testing and surveillance to support a One Health approach, aiming to manage outbreaks and spread, protect food production, safeguard public health, and reduce the economic impacts of this dangerous virus.

Below you will find a timeline of recent critical events in the global spread of Avian Flu.

BY THE NUMBERS

>50%

Human Fatality Rate

Over a 20-year period (CDC)

>131 M

Culled Poultry

Worldwide (WHO)

67+

Countries Affected

Since 2022 (WHO)

30+

Mammal Species Infected

Worldwide (Reuters)

Recent Events in Avian Flu

2024

6

JUN

Published by Reuters,  Julie Steenhuysen and Adriana Barrera.

5

JUN

2023

2022

2022

Ongoing avian influenza outbreaks in animals pose risk to humans. Published by The World Health Organisation