After 30 consecutive years without a case of omicron variant H5N1 virus infection in animals in Northern Europe, four families in Norway have now contracted the virus, and a fifth new case was reported from Germany. There have been no cases of human infection in Norway, Germany, or in recent years in South Africa, where the first human cases of the virus were found back in 2006.
The new outbreak has scientists who study the virus concerned. At least one Danish flu expert claims the increase in new cases this year could be the result of an increase in experimental H5N1 vaccination — e.g., the H5N1 vaccine that was developed by the NIH in 2014, during the first outbreak. A new vaccination campaign, which began in 2016, includes an enhanced security protocol for vaccination records, in which vaccine supplier data is deleted if personal identification information is not already in the vaccine record books.
While H5N1 cases remain on the low side in Norway, a more typical increase in H5N1 cases in South Africa has produced about 13 new infections in the past four years, the CDC reports.
Read the full story at Scientific American.
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