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Bird Flu Affecting Humans

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Bird flu (Avian influenza) is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These flying viruses occur naturally among birds. Wild birds carry these viruses....

Bird flu (Avian influenza) is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These flying viruses occur naturally among birds. Wild birds carry these viruses in their intertwines, but usually don't get sick from them. However bird flu is very contagious among birds and can be found among domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, & turkeys.

Avian Influenza Viruses:

Avian Influenza viruses

Influenza viruses that infect birds are called; "avian influenza viruses". Only influenza the viruses infect birds. However there are substantial genetic differences between the subtypes that typically infect both people and birds. Avian influenza H5 + H7 viruses can be distinguished as "low pathogenic" and” High pathogenic" on the basis of genetic feature of the virus and the severity of the illness they cause in poultry.

Influenza H9 virus has been identified only in a “Low pathogen city". There are potentially nine different forms of each subtype (H5 H7 H9) For Example: H, N, H5 N3 H5 N9. H5 infections have been documented among humans, sometime Causing severe illness and death. H7 infection in humans is rare, but can occur among persons who have frequent contact with infected birds. Symptoms may include conjunctivitis &/or respiration disease. Three H9 infections in humans have been confirmed.

How Does Bird Flu Spread?

Bird Flu and Danger to HumansInfected birds shed flu virus in their saliva, nasal secretions & excretion. Susceptible birds become infected when they have contact with contaminated excretions or surfaces that are contaminated with excretions. It is believed that most cases of bird flu infection in humans have resulted from contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces.

Transmission Of Influenza A Viruses In Animals & People:

Transmission of influenza A viruses in animals & peopleInfluenza viruses are found in many different animals, including ducks, chickens, Pig whales, houses & seals. However certain subtypes of influenza A virus are specific to certain species, except for birds which are hosts to all subtypes of influenza, A viruses normally seen in one species sometimes can cross over & cause illness in another species. However, in 1998, H3 N2 viruses from humans were introduced into the Pig population & caused widespread disease among pigs. Avian influenza viruses may be transmitted to humans in two main ways,

  1. Directly from birds or from avian virus contaminated environments to people.
  2. Through an intermediate host, such as a Pig.

While it is unusual for people to get influenza infections directly from animals but sporadic human infections & outbreaks caused by certain avian influenza a viruses & pig influenza viruses have been reported. These sporadic human infections & outbreaks, however, rarely result in sustained transmission among humans.

Symptoms Of Bird Flu In Humans:

Symptoms of bird flu in human range from typical flu like symptoms (fever, cough , sore throat & muscle aches) to eye infections, Pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases ( such as acute respiratory distress ), & other severe & life threatening complications. The symptoms of bird flu depend on the type of virus, which causes the infection.

Treatment Of Bird Flu In Humans:

Studies suggest that the prescribed medicines approved for human flu viruses would work in preventing bird flu infection in human However flu viruses can become resistant to these drugs. So these medications may not always work.

Risk To Humans From Bird Flu:

The risk from bird flu to human is generally low because the viruses occur mainly in birds & do not usually infect humans. However, during an out-break of bird among poultry (domesticated chicken, ducks turkeys), there is a possible risk to the people who have contact with infected birds or surfaces that have been contaminated by excretions from infected birds. The recent outbreak of avian influenza A ( H5, N1) among poultry in Asia is an example bird flu outbreak that caused human infections & deaths. In such situations, People should avoid contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces, when handling & cooking poultry.



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