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World News April 10, 2024

Scientists warn of H5N1 bird flu virus spreading across Antarctica

Spanish scientists Antonio Alcamí and Begoña Aguado have issued a warning regarding the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) virus across Antarctica, following a significant outbreak observed in a skua seabird colony on Beak Island. The outbreak was discovered during a scientific expedition led by Australian scientist Meagan Dewar, where 50 skua seabird carcasses were found, all testing positive for the H5N1 virus. Additional cases have been reported at Hope Bay, Devil Island, and Paulet Island. The disease, which has already caused mass bird fatalities worldwide, has spread aggressively in wildlife since reaching South America in 2022 and has now reached Antarctica. The first case in Antarctica was confirmed in February in two dead skua seabirds, and subsequent cases have been found in Adelie penguins and Antarctic cormorants bcientists from the Chilean Antarctic Institute.

Source – CGTN

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