In an article
published in Emerging Infectious Diseases researchers suggest H5N2 and other descendants of the H5N8 avian flu virus that arose last year in Asia may pose a long term threat to poultry and wild waterfowl in the Northern Hemisphere.
The researchers from The US Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin traced the emergence of H5N8 and its offspring including H5N2. Their data suggests H5N8 arose from reassortment of HPAI H5N1 with LPHAI viruses. Since first detected the virus has been found in poultry and wild waterfowl in Europe, Taiwan, Japan, Canada and the United States (west and central). The scientists further posture the persistence of H5N8 and reassortments that have maintained high pathogenicity in poultry and adaptation to wild waterfowl means they could be present for a time to come.
To those that are familiar with the nature of these viruses also recognize as the threat persists so does the chance these viruses will reassort with viruses from other species such as swine, which could then pose a threat to human health.