Last September, biologists began to sound the alarm: an unknown disease appeared in seals living on the Atlantic coast of the United States.
Its symptoms were pneumonia and skin lesions. The epidemic lasted for three months, its victims were often young ones under the age of six months (162 individuals died then). And today the cause of the incident became clear. It turned out to be bird flu epidemic, which caused information storms in the media space a few years ago. Now it reappeared, enriched by a new strain – H3N8.
The concern is that the virus has learned to switch from birds to mammals. It attacks the respiratory system. Other mutations that have occurred in the genes of the virus have increased its ability to penetrate – and, hence, the ability to infect new species of mammals.
As for the threat to humans, there is no single opinion. Many doctors suggest that deaths from new viruses, which media often scare us with, are dozens and even hundreds of times less than deaths from the unknown flu strains.