Avian influenza global spread raises concern for next human pandemic and poultry production

Sarina Locke – March 9, 2017

In South Korea 35 million poultry have been destroyed following the worst outbreak of avian influenza ever seen in the country.

Various strains of the virus have spread globally over the past two years, creating concern among scientists about the next pandemic.

Forty new countries have reported avian influenza since November 2016, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE.

It brings to 77 the number of countries affected and 13 different strains of the virus.

But Australia’s leading poultry veterinarian warns there is no room for complacency.

“Right at the moment, right throughout Europe and the Middle East, we call it a global occurrence a we have strains like H5N1, H5N2, H5N9, that’s become extensive globally,” associate professor at Melbourne University Peter Scott said.