‘Just A Matter of Time’ Until Bird Flu Pandemic

The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said “it’s not a question of if, it’s more of a question of when” a bird flu pandemic will occur with “significant mortality” in humans.

Dr. Robert Redfield, a virologist who was appointed to lead the CDC in 2018 by former President Donald Trump, appeared on News Nation on Friday to discuss the growing concern he and other experts have about bird flu. 

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The highly contagious virus, also known as the avian flu, has “probably somewhere between 25 and 50 percent mortality” in humans, Redfield said. 

“Unfortunately, bird flu when it does enter humans, has a significant mortality. Probably somewhere between 25-50 percent mortality so it’s going to get quite complicated,” he explained.

The virologist said there’s been a “progressive” increase of the influenza in birds such as chickens, ducks, and turkeys in the U.S. since 2017.

The largest American producer of fresh eggs, Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., had to temporarily halt production at its Texas plant after detecting bird flu in chickens in April, Breitbart News reported. 

An estimated 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets at the Parmer County facility were destroyed after being infected, the company said in a statement

The bird flu has since jumped to mammals, with the virus being detected in dozens of cattle across the country and even some dairy farm workers, according to the CDC. 

The first human confirmed to have died from the virus was a 59-year-old Mexican man, the World Health Organization (WHO) said

Relatives of the man confirmed that he had no history of exposure to poultry or other animals, but had multiple underlying medical conditions and was bedridden for weeks prior to contracting the virus in April. 

“I really do think it’s very likely that we will, at some time, it’s not a question of if, it’s more of a question of when we will have a bird flu pandemic,” Redfield told the News Nation host last week. “Once the virus gains the ability to attach to the human receptor and then go human to human, that’s when you’re going to have the pandemic. And as I said, I think it’s just a matter of time.”

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