How worried should we be about avian flu?

Marion Koopmans talks to BBC Sounds, the Economist and Inside Story about her concerns regarding avian flu.

The world is dealing with the largest recorded avian influenza outbreak ever. It has already been reported to have spread to minks and sea lions.

BBC Sounds invited different scientists to their podcast The Briefing Room to discuss: How worried should we be about avian flu? PDPC initiator Marion Koopmans: ‘I am researching if there is an increased risk that this virus could spill over to humans. And we do see quite some reports of wild mammals, carnivores, that get infected, including some with severe disease.’

Koopmans also shared her concerns that this virus could kick off a human pandemic on Inside Story and the Babbage Podcast from the Economist: ‘The spread amongst birds was already unprecedented, but particularly the stories about transmission into a mink farm in Spain are concerning. It really looks like there was a spread between animals. That is kind of a warning sign because these viruses normally do not do that. We see it as an indication that it could potentially also happen in people. That is not the case currently, and it died out, but it is a concern.’

Listen to Koopmans explain the topic further on The Briefing Room, Inside Story or the Babbage Podcast.