Sourced from the Guardian – Illustration by Sebastien Thibault
I am not into zombie movies/shows and I am definitely not a ‘gamer’ but I, along with many others, have started watching ‘The Last of Us” Essentially it is about some kind of fungi infection which is quickly transmitted through humans and turns most of the population into zombie like beings
We have come through, for the most part, the COVID pandemic. Our political leaders are saying we pretty much have it under control, despite the World Health Organization WHO, saying ‘not so fast’. But, compared to three years ago, things seem to have gone back close to normal.
I guess most of us have heard of the Avian, more commonly known as the bird flu. It has been around for a number of years, with near minimal transmission to humans. The latest strain of this flu is the H5N1 strain. This strain first arose in 2020 and was passed along by migratory birds in Africa, Asia and Europe, according to WHO. In late 2021, it spread to North America where it has affected wild birds and, so far, 58 million chickens. Of concern though is the fact that it is now spreading to mammals such as foxes, racoons bears and even dolphins. So far, most of these individual mammal deaths seems to have occurred from eating infected birds.
However, the virus seems to be mutating. In June of last year, 150 seals, in Maine, died of this virus. At a mink farm, in Spain, the virus was found to be spreading amongst the minks. This resulted in 51,000 minks being killed to prevent the spread of this virus. The concern is that this virus is now being transmitted from to mammal. The following two states are from Jay Varma, Director of Cornell University’s Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response.
“There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty about what is currently happening with bird flu and what might happen in the future.”
“It seems like it spreads very easily among different bird species. You have so many different bird species that die off so rapidly from it.”
So far there have been 6 humans infected from this strain. Of the six, four had mild symptoms, one had severe symptoms and one person, from Viet Nam died. In all these cases, the victims had close contact with birds. It seems, so far, that it is difficult for this virus to be transmitted amongst human. But as this strain continues to mutate this could change. I go back to the first quote above and leave it at that.