Avian Influenza - Bird Flu FAQ

Avian Influenza - Bird Flu FAQ

As more and more cases of fowl flu are reported, the world faces a right away threat of a deadly pandemic. Pandemics (Global Illness Outbreaks) are known to be like flash floods. They start abruptly, spread quick and cause quite a lot of damage all over the world.

A number of details that everybody ought to know:

What's Avian Influenza?

As the name suggests, avian influenza refers back to the infection caused by avian (chook) influenza (flu) viruses. These viruses are commonly present in intestines of untamed birds and these birds can carry the viruses without getting sick. Nevertheless the viruses could be pathogenic to domesticated birds like chickens, ducks and turkeys. Domesticated birds grow to be contaminated by way of exposure to other birds or by means of surfaces contaminated by secretions and faeces of the infected birds.

These viruses are categorised as Low Pathogenicity and High Pathogenicity. Most strains of Avian Influenza come under Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (LPAI) Group and produce gentle symptoms in the infected birds. Widespread signs are ruffled feathers, decreased meals urge for food, decreased egg production, sneezing and coughing. Many occasions LPAI may go undetected.

High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) has more severe symptoms which include sudden demise, lack of energy and appetite, decreased egg production, respiratory problems, facial oedema (swelling), poorly formed eggs and diarrhoea. HPAI can reach a mortality rate of practically one hundred%.

What Is H5N1 strain of Chicken Flu?

All flu viruses are labeled as type A, B or C relying on their structural arrangement. Type A is liable for deadly pandemics and is present in both animals and humans. Type B causes local outbreaks of flu. Type C is essentially the most stable of the three and infected individuals show only delicate symptoms of flu. Type B and C are usually discovered only in humans. Type B and C are more stable than type A and aren't labeled in response to their subtypes.

Influenza viruses of type A are divided into subtypes and the naming is completed on the premise of two proteins (antigens) discovered on their surface - Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). Sixteen types of HA and nine types of NA exist. Thus a total a hundred and forty four combinations are possible.

Thus H5N1 is a type A virus and gets its name from HA 5 protein and NA 1 protein current on its surface.

How Do Type A Viruses Cause A Pandemic?

Type A viruses are additional categorised into strains. These strains can continuously evolve into totally different strains. Their ability to change genetic material with other viruses and create new influenza viruses makes them unpredictable and tough to combat with. People have to develop new immunity (antibodies) every time new strains are created.

Viruses can not repair genetic damage, small changes known as "Antigen Drift", are repeatedly creating new strains of viruses. Nevertheless when genetic materials from Type A viruses from totally different species - say a chicken and a human, comes collectively and merges, a completely new strain is created. This is known as "Antigen Shift" Humans don't have any immunity to such a strain and the strain can spread quickly inflicting a Pandemic.

How Is The Virus Transmitted To Humans From Birds?

Usually Avian Influenza viruses do not infect humans. Migratory birds act as carriers of those viruses and do not get affected by them. These birds then are available in contact with domesticated birds such as chickens and turkeys and spread the an infection to them. Domesticated birds could get the virus from contact with contaminated surfaces too. Once a virus infects domesticated birds, it could possibly cause extreme epidemic among the many birds. Humans are available contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces and pick up the virus.

Within the human body, this avian flu virus then undergoes an antigenic shift, combines with genetic material of a human strain of influenza virus and creates an entirely new strain of virus in opposition to which humans have little or no immunity. These genetic reassortments may additionally happen is the body of a third species (prone to both avian and human viruses) just like the pig, the place an avian influenza A virus and human influenza virus mix their genetic information and produce a new virus which might be able to contaminate humans.

Why is H5N1 dangerous?

The primary reported cases of H5N1 infections had been detected in geese in 1997 in Southern China. A total of 18 human infections were reported and 6 of them succumbed to it. The an infection spread rapidly to poultry in Hong Kong. At the moment 1,000,000 and half chickens had been culled in Hong Kong to maintain the virus under control. The virus disappeared for a couple of years, however resurfaced in 2002 in Hong Kong again. Since then it has killed thousands and thousands of birds in Asia and plenty of cases of human infections have been reported.

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