Scientists in Indonesia have discovered a new species of bird flu, which has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of ducks in the country, said on Wednesday the Singapore newspaper Strats Times.
"We found a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H5N1 — put 2.3 (a group of organisms, united by the presence of a common ancestor.) It is very different from the open earlier form of avian flu — clade 2.1" — said the head of the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department of Agriculture of Indonesia Shukur Ivantoro (Syukur Iwantoro).
According to the latest WHO data, since 2003, 15 countries have reported 608 cases of human infection with the virus H5N1, 359 of which were fatal. The most severe blow dealt a deadly disease in Indonesia: official data, in 2005 in the country bird flu infected 191 people, 159 of whom died.
Outbreaks of avian influenza that occurred in recent years, including in Asia, raised serious concerns among virologists and physicians, who said the threat of an influenza pandemic, similar in scale to the pandemic, "Spanish flu" in 1918, which claimed millions of lives. However, while these viruses are not "learned" to spread traditional flu airborne and spread from person to person, there is no threat of a pandemic. These species can be infected with influenza only people in close contact with birds.