Saudi Arabia reports outbreak of contagious new virus
As if the coronavirus wasn’t causing enough chaos in the region, Saudi Arabia has reported there has been an outbreak of a particularly dangerous bird flu virus: H5N8.
The Kingdom reported the outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health.
The outbreak is said to have taken place in the Sudair region, in central Saudi Arabia (Around 150km from the capital of Riyadh). The disease has killed more than 22,000 birds, with another 385,000 slated for termination out of precaution. The last outbreak occurred in July 2018.
Previously, the H5N8 strain of bird flu was considered not particularly dangerous for humans. However, it has recently been declared to have become more pathogenic.
On Tuesday, Vietnam was also struck with a case of bird flu, with another strain H5N6.
As of today, China is struggling to contain the coronavirus, which originated in the city of Wuhan. It is slated that more than 20,000 people globally have been infected by the virus.
On February 1st, China also reported an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu – detected in its Hunan province. H561 is significantly more deadly than the coronavirus. Of those that contract H5N1 – nearly 60 per cent die, compared to the Wuhan virus which has a mortality rate of 2 per cent.