Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, May 06, 2024

A genetic analysis and case report reveal new insights and big gaps in our knowledge.



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... The US Department of Agriculture this week posted an unpublished version of its genetic analysis into the spillover and spread of bird flu into US dairy cattle, offering the most complete look yet at the data state and federal investigators have amassed in the unexpected and worrisome outbreak -- and what it might mean.

The preprint analysis provides several significant insights into the outbreak -- from when it may have actually started, just how much transmission we're missing, stunning unknowns about the only human infection linked to the outbreak, and how much the virus continues to evolve in cows. The information is critical as flu experts fear the outbreak is heightening the ever-present risk that this wily flu virus will evolve to spread among humans and spark a pandemic. ...

But another big finding from the preprint is how many gaps still exist in our current understanding of the outbreak. To date, the USDA has identified 36 herds in nine states that have been infected with H5N1. The good news from the genetic analysis is that the USDA can draw lines connecting most of them. USDA researchers reported that "direct movement of cattle based upon production practices" seems to explain how H5N1 hopped from the Texas panhandle region"where the initial spillover is thought to have occurred -- to nine other states, some as far-flung as North Carolina, Michigan, and Idaho. ...

Putative transmission pathways of HPAI H5N1 clade genotype B3.13 supported by epidemiological links, animal movements, and genomic analysis.

The bad news is that those lines connecting the herds aren't solid. There are gaps in which the genetic data suggests unidentified transmission occurred, maybe in unsampled cows, maybe in other animals entirely. The genetic data is clear that once this strain of bird flu"H5N1 clade genotype B3.13 -- hopped into cattle, it could readily spread to other mammals. The genetic data links viruses from cattle moving many times into other animals: There were five cattle-to-poultry jumps, one cattle-to-raccoon transmission, two events where the virus moved from cattle to domestic cats, and three times when the virus from cattle spilled back into wild birds.

"We cannot exclude the possibility that this genotype is circulating in unsampled locations and hosts as the existing analysis suggests that data are missing and undersurveillance may obscure transmission inferred using phylogenetic methods," the USDA researchers wrote in their preprint. ...

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2024-05-06 01:03 AM | Reply

Well according magamorons it is a weapon created by Biden to keep people from voting.

#2 | Posted by Nixon at 2024-05-06 08:05 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Interesting stuff. This whole thing with the dairy farms is pretty scary stuff honestly.

#3 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2024-05-06 04:36 PM | Reply

There will always be things that we don't understand. Overreacting to fear of the unknown was and is just as stupid as what Trump did in 2020.

#4 | Posted by sentinel at 2024-05-06 05:29 PM | Reply

This has a chance of being the beginning of the next pandemic. If that happens, say, within the next two years, what predictions can we make about the MAGA nutjobs and the response to it? We've seen first hand what the crazies believe regarding Covid-19...

#5 | Posted by chuffy at 2024-05-06 05:33 PM | Reply

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