Another frightening news about bird flu has come to the world, which has been battling the havoc of different epidemics and diseases for some time. Bird flu has been confirmed in dolphins and porpoises. Bird flu infection was confirmed in a bottlenose dolphin found dead in a canal in Florida last spring, scientists said on Wednesday. A week earlier, a similar infection was confirmed in porpoises in Sweden. Swedish officials reported that the same type of avian influenza was found in porpoises.
Avian flu has spread widely among North American and European birds. This variant of the virus has affected a wide range of species. However, so far only two cases have been confirmed in a group of marine mammals that includes dolphins, porpoises and whales. But these two cases have forced the scientists to do research.
According to the New York Times report, Richard Webby, an influenza virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, said it is too early to say that the virus generally infects marine mammals as well. However, he also said that the way it has been confirmed in two different species on two different continents, suggests that there will certainly be other cases.
Dr. Webby added that globally our surveillance activity is never sensitive to just two incidents like this, but now our team is working closely with the Florida team for a follow-up study. Let us tell you that Dr. Webby was not involved in the process of initial identification of viruses in dolphins and porpoises.
Let us tell you that last month, more than 5 million chicks were killed after bird flu was confirmed at a poultry farm in Iowa province in the US. In view of the rapidly spreading avian flu in America, zoos in North America are separating their birds from people and other wildlife. Infected wild birds have been found in at least 24 provinces and the virus has been spreading to migratory waterfowl in Europe and Asia for nearly a year.