The avian flu virus was the agent that caused the devastating worldwide influenza pandemic in 2018 that killed an estimated 50-100 million people, and health authorities continue to pay close attention to periodic outbreaks of avian flu. Currently, an H5N1 influenza virus is leading to millions of wild birds and domestic poultry deaths. Recently, this virus spread in a mink farm in Spain, raising the stakes that it might be able to spread among humans. While the current avian flu pandemic is a major economic problem for global farms and a major animal welfare concern for domestic poultry and wild bird populations, it is just a mutation away from becoming a major human health problem. Intensive animal farming systems could lead to the evolution of a new pandemic avian flu virus. While the world is discussing the global warming potential of modern food systems, it should also pay attention to the potential pandemic threats from concentrated animal feeding operations.
Rowan, Andrew N. and Rowan, Kathleen
"Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza,"
WellBeing News: Vol. 5:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://www.wellbeingintlstudiesrepository.org/wbn/vol5/iss1/1
Environmental Public Health Commons, Epidemiology Commons, Influenza Virus Vaccines Commons