AVIAN INFLUENZA

05 Jun 2019

ABSTRACT –

Avian Influenza, Avian Flu or Bird Flu is an infection caused by influenza virus Type A which is found in birds. This virus is very deadly if it infects human. Out of the many strains of Influenza A virus, only 5 types are known to affect majorly: H5N1, H7N3, H7N7, H7N9, and H9N2.

CAUSES –

The virus spreads via contact with an infected bird’s secretions from eyes, mouth, nose or feces during slaughtering or plucking and can spread in masses through:

  • Open markets where birds and their eggs are sold in unsanitary conditions
  • Indoor commercial poultry
  • Backyard and hobby flocks
  • Bird collection and trading system like cockfighting

Undercooked poultry meat or egg can also transmit this flu.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –

The symptoms may appear within 2-7 days of infection:

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fever, cough and headache
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath

Some may even suffer from conjunctivitis.

DIAGNOSIS –

Respiratory sample of the patient is taken and tested by AVantage A/H5N1 Flu Test for the presence of influenza virus.

TREATMENT –

RISK FACTORS –

Contact with sick birds is the major risk factor for getting Avian Influenza.

PREVENTATION –

  • Bird flu vaccine
  • Cook properly and thoroughly
  • Avoid cross contamination
  • Avoid food containing egg shells
  • Culling of infected birds
  • Improve poultry farming and market areas

People travelling to places with bird flu outbreaks should take precautions like:

  • Wash hands or use alcohol based sanitizer
  • Avoid domesticated birds
  • Take a flu vaccine

EPIDEMIOLOGY –

  • Mostly prominent in Southeast Asia and nearby regions.
  • This infection is rare but direct contact with infected animals increases the chances of getting affected by Avian influenza.

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