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 numerous damage everywhere in the world.

A few information that everybody ought to know:

What is Avian Influenza?

As the name suggests, avian influenza refers back to the infection caused by avian (chicken) influenza (flu) viruses. These viruses are commonly found in intestines of wild birds and these birds can carry the viruses without getting sick. Nonetheless the viruses could be pathogenic to domesticated birds like chickens, ducks and turkeys. Domesticated birds turn into infected via exposure to other birds or via surfaces contaminated by secretions and faeces of the contaminated birds.

These viruses are labeled as Low Pathogenicity and High Pathogenicity. Most strains of Avian Influenza come under Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (LPAI) Group and produce delicate signs in the contaminated birds. Frequent signs are ruffled feathers, decreased meals appetite, decreased egg production, sneezing and coughing. Many times LPAI might go undetected.

High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) has more severe symptoms which embrace sudden death, lack of energy and appetite, decreased egg production, respiratory problems, facial oedema (swelling), poorly fashioned eggs and diarrhoea. HPAI can attain a mortality rate of almost one hundred%.

What Is H5N1 strain of Chook Flu?

All flu viruses are classified as type A, B or C relying on their structural arrangement. Type A is accountable for lethal pandemics and is present in both animals and humans. Type B causes local outbreaks of flu. Type C is the most stable of the three and infected folks show only mild signs of flu. Type B and C are usually discovered only in humans. Type B and C are more stable than type A and will not be categorised in accordance with their subtypes.

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

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

How Do Type A Viruses Cause A Pandemic?

Type A viruses are additional labeled into strains. These strains can constantly evolve into different strains. Their ability to alternate genetic material with different viruses and create new influenza viruses makes them unpredictable and difficult to struggle with. Humans should develop new immunity (antibodies) every time new strains are created.

Viruses can not repair genetic damage, small modifications known as "Antigen Drift", are continuously creating new strains of viruses. Nevertheless when genetic materials from Type A viruses from completely different species - say a chook and a human, comes collectively and merges, a wholly new strain is created. This is known as "Antigen Shift" People have no immunity to such a strain and the strain can spread quickly inflicting a Pandemic.

How Is The Virus Transmitted To People From Birds?

Usually Avian Influenza viruses don't infect humans. Migratory birds act as carriers of those viruses and don't get affected by them. These birds then come in contact with domesticated birds corresponding to chickens and turkeys and spread the infection to them. Domesticated birds may get the virus from contact with contaminated surfaces too. Once a virus infects domesticated birds, it might cause extreme epidemic among the many birds. Humans are available contact with contaminated birds or contaminated surfaces and pick up the virus.

In 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 a wholly new strain of virus towards which people have little or no immunity. These genetic reassortments may additionally happen is the body of a third species (susceptible to both avian and human viruses) like the pig, where an avian influenza A virus and human influenza virus mix their genetic info and produce a new virus which could be able to infect 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 had been reported and six of them succumbed to it. The infection spread rapidly to poultry in Hong Kong. At the moment a million and half chickens have been culled in Hong Kong to keep 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 hundreds of thousands of birds in Asia and plenty of cases of human infections have been reported.

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