[credit provider=”flickr: Joe Gatling” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/joegatling/2510413793/”]
The United Nations announced that wild bird migrations have brought H5N1, commonly known as bird flu, back to countries previously considered virus free.“The general departure from the progressive decline in 2004-2008 could mean that there will be a flare-up of H5N1 this fall and winter, with people unexpectedly finding the virus in their backyard,” UN Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) chief veterinary officer Juan Lubroth said in a statement.
The number of wild bird and poultry populations infected with bird flu fell from 4000 to 302 in 2008. Since then, however, incidents of infection have been rising slowly. According to the FAO, 800 cases have been reported in 2010-2011.
Countries hit with fresh infections include Israel, the Palestinian territories, Romania, Nepal, Bulgaria, and Mongolia.
By 2006 bird flu was eradicated from most of the 63 countries where it was found. But for 6 countries it remained: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
And in China and Vietnam, the UN found that the the virus is mutating, making previous measures to curb the disease useless. Vietnam has suspended poultry vaccinations in order to figure out how to combat the new strain.