Bird flu detected in walrus for the first time 

Bird flu detected in walrus for the first time

Bird flu has been identified in a walrus for the first time, confirming a new type of animal affected by this contagious disease.

The discovery was made after a walrus was found dead last year on the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. The animal tested positive for the virus.

Walruses primarily feed on fish and shellfish, but sometimes they eat birds, which could explain the transmission of the virus.

Bird flu is known for its high contagion rate, primarily among birds. However, migratory birds have spread the virus globally, increasingly affecting various other animals.

The virus has been found in polar bears, penguins, sea lions, seals, cats, red foxes, humans, cows, and other animals. The disease is no longer only killing birds.

Diana Bell, emeritus professor of conservation biology at the University of East Anglia, told news outlet The Guardian that the list of animals killed has become enormous in the last couple of years. “This isn’t just a poultry disease.” 

“We’ve already got a pandemic in biodiversity, and it’s called H5N1 (type of bird flu virus) because it’s killed so many birds and mammals.”

H5N1 spreads through close contact with infected birds or their droppings. This virus is dangerous because it can make birds and other animals sick and can be fatal. 

Health experts worry about H5N1 because it could change into a form that spreads more easily between people. This could potentially cause a pandemic. 

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