is the one which commonly spreaded news among people now a days. What is Bird flu, what are their types? How is it contagious? Does it affect humans? Let us see what the World Health organisation says:
Avian influenza, or “bird flu”, is a contagious disease of animals caused by viruses that normally infect only birds and, less commonly, pigs. Avian influenza viruses are highly species-specific, but have, on rare occasions, crossed the species barrier to infect humans.
Types of Flu viruses:
Generally there are 3 types of flu viruses which are A,B & C. Where
Influenza A viruses1 have 16 H subtypes and 9 N subtypes2. Only viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes are known to cause the highly pathogenic form of the disease. However, not all viruses of the H5 and H7 subtypes are highly pathogenic and not all will cause severe disease in poultry.
Now a days, the bird flu is caused by H5N1
type of virus.
The causative agent, the H5N1 virus, has proved to be especially tenacious. Despite the death or destruction of an estimated 150 million birds, the virus is now considered endemic in many parts of Indonesia and Viet Nam and in some parts of Cambodia, China, Thailand, and possibly also the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Control of the disease in poultry is expected to take several years.
The mortality rate of this virus is 100% within 48 hours.
Which countries have been affected by outbreaks in poultry?
The Republic of Korea, Viet Nam, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Indonesia, and China. Most of these countries had never before experienced an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in their histories.
In early August 2004, Malaysia reported its first outbreak of H5N1 in poultry, becoming the ninth Asian nation affected. Russia reported its first H5N1 outbreak in poultry in late July 2005, followed by reports of disease in adjacent parts of Kazakhstan in early August. Deaths of wild birds from highly pathogenic H5N1 were reported in both countries.
How do people affect?
By direct contact with infected poultry, or surfaces and objects contaminated by their faeces, is presently considered the main route of human infection. To date, most human cases have occurred in rural or periurban areas where many households keep small poultry flocks.
What are the safety measures to be taken by the people?
H5N1 virus is sensitive to heat so,
By normal cooking temperature 70 degree celcius we can kill the virus.
Do not visit the areas which has already been affected by this disease.
Getting vaccination is also advisable.
Not to touch the infected birds.
What are the drugs are available for treatment?
Two drugs (in the neuraminidase inhibitors class), oseltamivir (commercially known as Tamiflu) and zanamivir (commercially known as Relenza) can reduce the severity and duration of illness caused by seasonal influenza.
Fortunately, so far no human beings are affected by this virus is true.