A new bird flu outbreak has a greater risk of spreading to humans due to the number of variants, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has raised concern among governments and the poultry industry after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds and trade restrictions.

“This time the situation is more difficult and more risky because we see more variants emerge, which make them harder to follow,” OIE Director General Monique Eloit told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

“Eventually the risk is that it mutates or that it mixes with a human flu virus that can be transmitted between humans then suddenly it takes on a new dimension,” she added.

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