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    South Korea Is Hit By Dangerous Bird Flu Virus

    In November, 2017, South Korea confirmed an outbreak of H5N6 bird flu at a duck farm in the south west of the country.

    In November, 2017, South Korea confirmed an outbreak of H5N6 bird flu at a duck farm in the south west of the country. Such outbreaks typically occur in the winter. This time some 12,000 ducks got infected. Water birds are natural transmitters of bird flu, while the virus is adapted to most bird populations, especially in south eastern Asia, and can spread through bird migrations. South Korean authorities raised the alert level to the highest ranking and declared all measures to control the virus taken, which is a natural reaction in the run-up to the Olympic Games. However, the situation is not that simple.

    There are two types of bird flu: low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) and high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Now South Korea has to deal with HPAI. Like every other bird flu virus, H5N6 rapidly mutates and adapts to new transmitters, which makes previous methods of this virus control almost useless. In other words, the virus becomes resistant to conservative drug therapy. H5N6 infects not only birds and animals but humans as well. While an outbreak in poultry and animals can be brought under control through a slaughter of the infected and suspected stocks, things are much more complicated with humans.

    As a rule, H5N6 symptoms are little different from usual human flu, but this disease is marked by affection of digestive and respiratory organs as well as high lethality rate. Because of continual evolution of bird flu and impossibility to identify it promptly, it is highly difficult to gather exact information on the number of fatal cases. As for the situation in South Korea, it is worsening due to the fact that new virus has mutated and transmits not only through contacts with infected birds and animals, but also between humans. The WHO is giving the alarm and insists on the importance of taking steps to control the outbreak.

    Now we can tell for sure that South Korea has been hit by an outbreak of new bird flu which is a threat to hundreds of millions of people. Being under pressure of sponsors of the coming Olympics, the authorities of South Korea are in point of fact suppressing facts and pretend that the situation is under control. So long as it is not possible at the current moment to define the incubation period of the virus and the coverage area (apart from the very South Korea), Winter Olympics in that country appears to be an extremely risky and totally unreasonable affair. With high risk of infection with new bird flu virus and hundreds of thousands of visitors of the Winter Olympics from all over the world, we will face a global pandemic that will affect every country on every continent!

    A century ago Spanish flu pandemic resulted in the deaths of dozens of millions of people. Who knows how many people will die of the new bird flu if we do not take steps to isolate South Korea?