Bird Flu or Avian Influenza
Bird Flu or Avian Influenza or Avian Flu is a viral infection that occurs mostly in birds. H5N1 is most common strain of the virus, which causes severe respiratory disease in birds. Avian means Bird and Influenza means flu, Hence the name of this disease is avian influenza. These infections normally spread among wild aquatic birds and can contaminate domestic poultry and other bird and also animal species. Normally, Bird flu viruses do not infect people. But rare cases of Bird Flu in humans have happened.
Bird Flu Type A virus has been found in around 100 different species of birds, especially wild aquatic birds all over the world. Wild aquatic birds, water birds like swans, geese, ducks, terns and gulls, and shorebirds like sandpipers, plovers and storks are responsible for this virus. The dabbling duck is a wild aquatic bird that is viewed as the best host for avian influenza A viruses. Avian influenza Type A viruses can affect the wild aquatic bird’s respiratory tract and intestines however some wild aquatic birds may not get sick, for example, ducks. Avian Influenza Type A viruses are extremely infectious among birds. It can sicken the birds and even kill some of the domesticated bird species such as ducks, chickens and turkeys.
Infected birds can carry the Avian influenza type A viruses in their feces, nasal secretions and saliva. Weak immune birds can easily get infected when they make contact with infected birds. Birds also can be infected if they make contact with surfaces that are contaminated with this virus from infected birds.
Types of Bird Flu (Avian Influenza Type A Virus)
There are 2 main types of Avian Influenza Type A Viruses, low pathogenic avian influenza A viruses (LPAI) and highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses (HPAI). As per the molecular characteristics, this viruses are classified. Both HPAI and LPAI infections can spread quickly through poultry birds.
Low pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI)
Low pathogenicity avian influenza A viruses (LPAI) show no signs of disease. In some cases, it shows mild disease in domestic birds like a drop in egg production and ruffled feathers. Most of the avian influenza A viruses are low pathogenic and show few signs of infection in infected wild aquatic birds. In poultry, some low-pathogenic viruses can transform into profoundly avian influenza viruses.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses cause extreme illness in infected poultry birds. The mortality rate is very high in Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses. Just some avian influenza A(H5) and A(H7) viruses are named HPAI A viruses, while most A(H5) and A(H7) viruses spreading among birds are LPAI A viruses. HPAI A(H5) or A(H7) virus contaminations can cause illness that influences various internal organs with mortality up to 90 to 100 percent in chickens, frequently in 48 hours or less. But, ducks can be infected with no indications of ailment. HPAI A(H5) and A(H7) virus infections in poultry additionally can spill once more into wild birds, bringing about the additional geographic spread of the infection as those birds relocate. While some wild bird species can be infected with some HPAI A(H5) or A(H7) infection subtypes without looking sick, other HPAI A(H5) and A(H7) infection subtypes can cause serious sickness and mortality in a few contaminated wild birds as well as in contaminated poultry.
Bird Flu in Humans
Signs or Symptoms of Bird Flu in humans are upper respiratory tract sign, Fever, sore throat, cough, stuffy or runny nose, fatigue, headaches, body or muscle aches, conjunctivitis (redness of the eye), vomiting, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea and seizures. It is essential to recall the disease with flu infections, including avian flu infections, doesn’t necessarily cause fever. Fever may not happen in infected persons of any age, especially in people matured 65 years and more established or individuals with immunosuppression. The shortfall of fever shouldn’t supplant clinical judgment while assessing a patient for sickness viable with avian influenza A virus infection.
How to prevent Bird Flu?
- You must avoid direct contact with wild birds
- Observe wild birds only from a distance
- Even after getting infected, some birds will not look sick. so stay away from them.
- You must avoid unprotected contact with domestic birds
- Do not touch dead birds
- Try not to contact surfaces that might be contaminated with mucous, saliva, or excrement from wild or domestic birds.
- Do not visit poultry farms
- Do not visit bird markets
- Do not eat undercooked or raw poultry products
- Wash your hands after touching uncooked poultry products
- Maintain good hygiene and cleanliness