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Avian flu in French foxes a new problem

PARIS: France has reported an outbreak of H5N1 avian flu among red foxes northeast of Paris, the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) said on Tuesday, as the spread of the virus to mammals sparked global concern.

After three foxes were found dead in a nature reserve in Meaux near where seagulls had died, one of the foxes was collected and tested, WOAH said in a report citing French authorities.

The World Health Organization described the avian flu situation last month as “worrying” due to the recent surge in cases in birds and mammals. It has reviewed its global risk assessment in light of recent developments, including cases of human transmission in Cambodia, where an 11-year-old girl died of the disease last month.

Avian influenza, commonly referred to as bird flu, has spread across the world in the past year, killing more than 200 million birds, driving up egg prices and raising concerns among governments about human transmission.

The virus infected a cat in France in late December. It has also been recorded in mink in Spain, foxes and otters in Britain, sea lions in Peru, and grizzly bears in the United States.

In Cambodia, authorities collected samples from 12 people who had been in contact with the girl, who died on February 22, as they tested human-to-human transmission.

The girl’s father, 49, subsequently tested positive but was asymptomatic. However, Cambodian authorities said he did not contract the virus from his daughter but through contact with infected birds.

In the last two decades, there have been nearly 900 confirmed human cases of H5N1, with more than 450 deaths, according to the WHO.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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