In addition to news on and analysis of the North American avian influenza outbreak, WATTAgNet editors have been bringing you commentary on the disease outbreak. Here are five must-read blog posts on the North American avian influenza outbreak and avian influenza around the world.

1) North American H5 avian flu not infecting humans

Terrence O’Keefe, WATT’s content director of agri-business

Perhaps the only good thing that can be said about the newly emerged highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza viruses in North America is that they don’t seem to be able to infect humans. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture just published their evaluation of these viruses' ability to infect humans based on the field exposures to date. READ MORE 

2) Life without avian flu

Benjamín Ruiz, editor of Industria Avícola

The existence of a country with a huge poultry industry and no trace or sign of avian influenzaseems increasingly far-fetched these days. However, one such country is Brazil, which thus far has not suffered any animal health problems of outbreak magnitude. Regardless, last week during the International Poultry and Swine Show (SIAVS) of Brazil, the recurring theme in both the presentations and in the hallways was avian flu. READ MORE

3) Human avian influenza deaths continue to rise

Mark Clements, editor of Poultry International

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Although largely absent from the headlines, the number of human deaths attributable to infection with avian influenza around the world continues to rise. Egypt has this week reported the death of a 40-year-old woman and, between January 1 this year and May 1, 40 people died worldwide -- almost double the number reported for the whole of 2014, reports the World Health Organization (WHO). READ MORE

4) What if highly pathogenic avian flu returns this fall?

Gary Thornton, editor of WATT PoultryUSA

What if highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) erupts in U.S. poultry flocks in the fall of 2015? A worst-case scenario would involve HPAI breaking in multiple geographic regions, including major broiler production regions. Is the U.S. ready to handle such an avian flu disease emergency? READ MORE

5) Avian flu and trade pits politics versus science

Terrence O'Keefe, WATT’s content director of agri-business

No one at the Avian Influenza and Poultry Trade International Conference, which recently concluded in Baltimore, Maryland, summed up the challenge that this disease presents to veterinary and public health professionals and the worldwide poultry industry better than Dr. Brian Evans, head of the scientific and technical department, OIE. He said: “International trade is an undeclared war and disease outbreaks are the weapon of choice.” READ MORE