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The likelihood of increased demand for personal protective equipment such as face masks in the event of a major bird flu outbreak in the UK has been highlighted again by the airlift of a large quantity of such equipment to an affected area in India.

Following an outbreak in the East Imphal district of Manipur, 1000 N-95 masks were transported to the area by the Minsitry of Health and Family Welfare to help protect against any airborne infection, Spirit India reports.

At present all known cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which has killed around 200 people worldwide, have been contracted through bird to human contact.

However, experts fear that the virus may mutate, making infection through human to human contact possible, leading to a major pandemic.

Work on a fully effective vaccine is ongoing, but expected not to be available for around another five years.


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