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WHO chief scientist calls for increased monitoringxa0and preparationxa0forxa0highly pathogenic bird flu

·1 min

The bird flu spreading through cattle in the United States is a concern for the chief scientist of the World Health Organization. The highly pathogenic H5N1 flu virus has primarily affected birds but has recently infected more mammals, indicating that it is getting closer to humans. The worry is that it may evolve to infect humans and spread from person to person. The WHO is calling for increased tracking and preparation for the virus. Although H5N1 doesn’t easily spread to humans, it is concerning due to its high fatality rate and potential mutations that could help it infect people. The US is monitoring the situation and has reported infected herds in multiple states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying the virus and has a candidate vaccine ready if necessary.