>> The risk over major bird flu epidemic among people raised in recent months. That is around 40 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia report new outbreaks in poultry and wild flocks. Rueter's health and science correspondent Kate Collin says, some experts describe the situation as unprecedented.>> The difference really is the sheer number of outbreaks, the geographical distribution of them, and the fact that several strains of bird flu are infecting wild birds and poultry and ducks, aquatic birds, at the same time.
>> The majority of the outbreaks of all flu strains that are currently low risk to human health. But the number of different viral subtypes and their presence in so many parts of the world at the same time make it a numbers game.>> The risk of those viruses mixing, mutating, and possibly making a jump into humans is raised.
The number of people who come into contact with infected birds is necessarily higher when there are more outbreaks in birds. In China strains of bird flu are infecting both birds and people, with the human death toll rising. Millions of birds are being called globally, Hungarian farmers alone killing 3 million, mostly geese and ducks.
Now experts say it is time to be on high alert calling for awareness, surveillance, and vigilance to be stepped up, trying to ensure early signals of a pandemic aren't missed