Incidents of bird flu outbreaks are cropping across the world – from Japan to the UK – and, while officials reason that it is not possible for humans to catch the avian flu virus from the eggs or meat of infected birds, the possibility that the virus may jump species is a serious concern.
Bird flu has now spread to eight of Japan’s 47 prefectures and, over in Europe, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has warned that the risk of avian influenza spreading to previously unaffected European countries is high after more than 300 cases have been reported in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK in the latter part of 2020.
In a news statement issued in November, the EFSA noted that while no human cases have been detected so far, the evolution of viruses needs to be closely monitored to assess the ongoing risk of viruses that can be transmitted to humans. “Preventing further escalation of these outbreaks will require close co-operation between animal, public, environmental and occupational,” added Nik Kriz, Head of EFSA’s Animal and Plant Health Unit.
Case numbers of Covid-19, which was transmitted across species, are growing around the world. As such, the World Tourism Network (WTN) has had to temporarily suspend the Safer Tourism Seal as it would irresponsible to continue it, the organisation says.