New bird-flu strain on the rise in Asia

A NEW virulent strain of bird flu (H5N1) is spreading through Asia and poses “unpredictable risks to human health”, according to the United Nations.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FOA) has issued a statement alerting countries to the emergence of the new strain (H5N1 - in both China and Vietnam.

It was “apparently able to sidestep the defences provided by existing [veterinary] vaccines” and may cause a “flare-up of H5N1 this [northern hemisphere] autumn and winter… with people unexpectedly finding the virus