The World Organization for Animal Health warns that an outbreak of a new or mutated and particularly contagious bird flu virus has been reported in Saudi Arabia. Reports of Bird flu also came from Vietnam and China, and from Germany this year.
In the central region of Saudi Arabia, Sudair, about 150 kilometers north of the capital Riyadh, an outbreak of a new and particularly contagious bird flu virus was detected. The plague has already killed more than 22,000 birds, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said, citing the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture. In addition, more than 385,000 other birds in the population were killed as a precaution. This is the first major outbreak of the bird flu virus since July 2018.
The H5N8 strain of avian influenza virus, which was detected in Saudi Arabia, was previously not considered to be particularly contagious to humans. However, it was recently stated that it has become increasingly pathogenic and can now be transmitted very easily from person to person.
A similarly alarming report of the outbreak of bird flu came from Vietnam on Tuesday, where a related, also highly pathogenic subtype of the bird flu virus strain, namely H5N6, had led to the death of 2,200 birds in a village in the north of the country. And last Saturday, a report also came from China that an outbreak of disease with the fatal H5N1 bird flu virus was found in central Hunan Province.