A new strain of bird flu – known as H5N8 – has been detected in Europe. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says it poses a serious threat to poultry there. African countries have been put on alert for possible cases.
The FAO’s Ian Douglas says researchers have been monitoring the spread of H5N8.
“We have been following this particular strain for quite some time. It’ been detected in Asia – in China, Japan and South Korea. It’s caused disease in poultry in those countries and has been detected in wild birds there. It’s related to the influenza strain that spread across the world in the mid-2000s, but it is a different virus.”
Douglas is head of the FAO’s Crisis Management Center for Animal Health. He said, in Asia, the new bird flu strain led to the slaughter of poultry on farms where it was discovered, along with quarantines and some temporary restrictions on trade.
“There’s much more work that’s done in the lead-up to that and, in part, this is involving better detection, better surveillance and good laboratory diagnostic techniques,” he said.
H5N8 was also found in migratory birds and waterfowl in Asia. It’s now in at least three European countries.
“It’s been reported in the last two or three weeks from Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. And each of those countries as it’s affected a poultry unit has responded with their well planned and executed response techniques. And certainly they’re increasing their level of awareness and surveillance. In addition, we’ve heard that some wild bird surveillance has resulted in this virus being detected,” said Douglas.
This strain of avian flu is said to pose a threat especially in countries along the Black Sea with limited resources and along East Atlantic migratory routes of wild birds.
Douglas said the spread of H5N8 appears similar to what was seen in the mid 2000s with the H5N1 strain. So, countries outside of Europe are on alert.
“Certainly, in those instances it did spread to some of the countries, for instance, in West Africa. The H5N1, with a great deal of work from all of the countries and agencies involved, has been limited now to many fewer countries than occurred initially. And we’ve not seen a reoccurrence of H5N1 in West Africa, for instance, since the initial spread some six years ago. But there’s every reason to be concerned that we could see a repeat of that pattern with this different strain,” he said.
Avian flu viruses spread very quickly and there’s usually a very high mortality rate among poultry. Some fowl, like ducks, may carry the virus, but show no symptoms. However, they can spread the disease.
Asked if H5N8 poses any threat to humans, the FAO official said, “There is no evidence with the limited experience of this virus that any humans have been infected. It’s believed that the nature of the virus is not well adapted to invade human cells. However, we’re conscious that other influenza viruses have made that cross and in some cases causing severe illness in humans. We very much take the advice of WHO on this point for the moment. Their statements are that they don’t see a human impact.”
The Food and Agriculture Organization is working with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in tracking the new strain of avian flu. They urge countries and poultry farmers to increase – what’s called – bio-security, which is the protection of agricultural animals from infectious agents.
1.quarantine vt. 检疫；隔离；使隔离 n. 检疫；隔离；检疫期；封锁 vi. 实行隔离
She was sent home and put in quarantine.
2.waterfowl n. [鸟] 水禽；[鸟] 水鸟
The salt marshes and mud flats attract large numbers of waterfowl.
Follow - up survey shows that the reoccurrence rate is only 5 %.
1.Douglas said the spread of H5N8 appears similar to what was seen in the mid 2000s with the H5N1 strain. So, countries outside of Europe are on alert.
on alert 警戒状态
Soldiers and police have been put on alert.
Police are on alert during Halloween, especially for sex offenders. The common wisdom is that sex offenders are out and about on Halloween, looking for targets.
警察在万圣节期间加强了戒备，特别是针对性犯罪者 。一般常识就是性犯罪者会在万圣节前后出去走动，寻找目标 。
“这种病毒确实也蔓延到其他欧洲之外的其他国家，比如西非，对于H5N1，各国和各机构都做了大量工作，目前已将这种病毒限制在很少的国家。比如自从该病毒6年前开始蔓延以来，我们看到H5N1没有在西非复发 。但我们完全有理由担心，我们可能会看到不同的病毒会以类似的形式再次蔓延 。”
禽流感病毒蔓延很快，通常令家禽死亡率非常高。有的家禽，比如鸭子可能会携带病毒，但表现不出症状 。不过，它们却能传播疾病 。
当被问到H5N8是否会对人类构成威胁时，这位粮农组织官员说，“以目前我们处理这种病毒有限的经验来看，目前没有证据表明人类会被感染。据悉这种病毒的特性决定它不太会侵入人体细胞，不过我们知道其他感冒病毒能侵入人体，有时还会造成人类严重生病 。在这一点上，我们很重视粮农组织的建议，他们的声明称看不到对人类构成的影响 。”