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Tags: new york | bird flu | virus | outbreak

New York City Preparing for Possible Bird Flu Outbreak

By    |   Tuesday, 25 June 2024 01:26 PM EDT

New York City officials are working to prepare for a potential outbreak of the bird flu virus, H5N1, which has been detected in the city's birds, according to The New York Times.

The community science group The New York City Virus Hunters found evidence of avian flu in samples collected in 2022 and 2023, sparking fears that the virus could eventually spread to people in the city.

Avian flu has also been detected in dairy cattle herds in a dozen states, prompting New York's agricultural department to implement mandatory testing for dairy cattle that appear at county fairs.

The virus was first detected in human patients in Hong Kong in 1997, but researchers have never detected human-to-human transmission. In the past 20 years, less than 1,000 human cases have been identified, but the Times notes that more than half of those infected have died.

"There is still a huge amount of uncertainty about when it will jump to human-to-human transmission," Dr. Jay Varma, an epidemiologist who formerly worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the newspaper.

Although some experts expressed concern about the lack of widely available testing kits for the virus, a spokesperson for the city Health Department told the Times that the public health laboratory run by the state "has more than sufficient testing capacity for H5N1 — several hundred specimens per day — and substantial additional surge capacity if needed."

Dr. David Silvestri, an emergency room physician who also plans and coordinates the city's emergency and disaster response, said in an interview that "a lot of the kinks" involved in pandemic response "have been worked out" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In an absolute worst-case scenario, we could pull on all the same levers," he added.

Theodore Bunker

Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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New York City officials are working to prepare for a potential outbreak of the bird flu virus, H5N1, which has been detected in the city's birds, according to The New York Times.
new york, bird flu, virus, outbreak
291
2024-26-25
Tuesday, 25 June 2024 01:26 PM
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