A new virus that is highly infectious and easy to transmit has been discovered for the first time in a mammal in Texas. This is hyping further fears about the possibility of a new epidemic.
Bird Flu Has Also Become Mammal Flu
Given the havoc that the Chinese coronavirus wrought in the United States and worldwide, a public fear of a new deadly virus is understandable.
The new virus that many are concerned about is a mutation of the already well-known avian influenza – or bird flu – virus – except, this time, it is already infecting mammals across different parts of the globe.
For the time being, there have been no reports of humans infected with the new mutation of the bird flu. Over the years, there have been individual cases of infected people who are in close contact with birds, such as farm workers.
For the first time, a mammal infected with the new avian flu virus strain, the so-called Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or HPAI, has been found in the wild in Texas.
This has been revealed in a press release of the Texas Park and Wildlife Department (TPWD), KSAT reported.
Stripped skunk infected with H5N1 bird flu in Texas🇺🇸, the first mammal affected in the state. pic.twitter.com/7R3o1Rxvt4
— Infectious Disease Tracker (@HmpxvT) March 22, 2023
We have bird flu in Texas y’all, but don’t worry. The U.S. government has approved a vaccines should human-to-human transmission occur. That’s not a skunk I smell—it’s bull shit.https://t.co/DlFRqhze0j pic.twitter.com/zHaSR3LG1f
— Brook Jackson 💜 (@IamBrookJackson) March 23, 2023
Bizarre, Severe Symptoms
The new and highly contagious virus has been found in the body of a striped skunk that was recovered earlier this week from Carson County.
The report notes that HPAI can now spread not only among birds and mammals, but also through environmental contamination. TPWD officials pointed out species that seem to be susceptible to HPAI were raccoons, skunks, foxes, black bears, mountain lions, and opossums.
In mammals, the symptoms of the disease vary, but may feature a lack of fear of humans, tremors, ataxia (stumbling and incoordination), sudden death, seizures, sneezing, and coughing.
The Texas authorities inform that presently mammal-to-mammal transmission might not be sustainable; the infections may occur most through the consumption of the carcasses of infected animals.
This article appeared in Mainstpress and has been published here with permission.
A skunk is the first Texas mammal to test positive for avian influenza.
The risk of transmission to people remains low, but the public should take basic protective measures if contact with wild animals can't be avoided.
➡️ Details at https://t.co/KdguIzb4dJ#AvianInfluenza pic.twitter.com/Ut9pDmSQ3Y
— TX Parks & Wildlife (@TPWDnews) March 21, 2023