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Finland Leads in Bird Flu Vaccination as Global Concerns Mount

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Finland has started vaccinating humans against bird flu amid rising global concerns. Experts highlight the virus's potential to evolve and spread, stressing the importance of minimizing contact with infected animals.

Finland Leads Bird Flu Vaccination Efforts Amid Rising Concerns

Bird Flu's Growing Threat

Epidemiologists and virologists are increasingly alarmed about the potential for the H5N1 bird flu virus to trigger the next pandemic. The virus, which has already caused the largest bird flu wave ever documented, is now infecting mammals such as otters, cats, and even dairy cows in the USA. Notably, the virus has been identified in humans who have had direct contact with infected animals, raising further concerns.

Finland's Proactive Measures

Finland has become the first country to commence human vaccinations against bird flu. The vaccinations are currently voluntary and targeted at individuals at higher risk, such as veterinarians working on bird and mink farms. This initiative comes as the country experiences repeated outbreaks on animal farms. Despite the vaccination efforts, experts emphasize the importance of minimizing contact with infected animals to curb the spread of the virus.

Scientific Insights and Global Impact

A recent study by American and Japanese scientists, published in the journal Nature, has highlighted the virus's ability to transmit between mammals, including through milk from infected cows. This finding underscores the virus's potential to evolve and become more transmissible among humans. The study also revealed that the virus could infect both bird and mammalian cells using two different receptors, which may facilitate cross-species transmission.

In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to monitor the situation closely, although it maintains that the risk to the general population remains low. Meanwhile, the European Center for Disease Control has reported a significant decline in avian flu cases among wild birds between March and June, suggesting a temporary reprieve in the region.

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