A Chinese woman has become the first person to die from a type of bird flu that is rare in humans, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, but the strain does not appear to spread between people.
Executives at three vaccine manufacturers – GSK, Moderna, and CSL Seqirus told Reuters they are already developing or about to test sample human vaccines that better match the circulating subtype, as a precautionary measure against a future pandemic.
The meeting is also a chance to discuss the risk of animal viruses spilling over to humans and causing a pandemic.
Avian flu has reached new corners of the globe and become endemic for the first time in some wild birds that transmit the virus to poultry, according to veterinarians and disease experts, who warn it is now a year-round problem.
The recent spread to mammals of H5N1 influenza – commonly known as bird flu – needs to be monitored, but the risk to humans remains low, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.