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Bird flu also called avian flu is an infectious type of disease that is common among birds. There are rare cases where it can affect humans as viruses causing bird flu have the capability to mutate and half of the victims died due to illness caused by bird flu.
Classes of Bird Flu
There are many classes of bird flu known so far. However, two classes are taken into account as they became serious issues in the past years.
-H5N1 (since 1997)
-H7N9 (since 2013)
Other bird flu viruses – especially H7N7 and H9N2, and more newly H6N1, H10N8, and H5N6 – have also poisoned people, but these have been very limited.
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There have been human cases of avian flu especially in Asia, Africa, Europe, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Pacific, and the near East.
There are chances for spreading bird flu among humans if:
-We work with poultry (such as farmers).
-We visit countries where the virus is present.
-We touch an infected bird.
-We consume raw or not well-cooked poultry meat, eggs, or blood from infected birds.
The viruses responsible for bird flu aren’t usually transmitted from human to humans.Birds are the host for bird flu. Birds who were contaminated with this flu can give off the virus in their wastes and saliva for as long as 10 days.
Bird flu is developed through close contact with infected birds (dead or alive), an infected bird’s droppings, or secretions from their eyes or respiratory tract. For instance:
-inhaling or being in contact with droplets sneezed by infected birds
-culling, slaughtering, butchering or preparing infected poultry for -cooking touching infected birds that are dead or alive
-inhaling or being in contact with dried dust from the droppings or bedding of infected birds
The symptoms of Bird flu generally depends on the strain of viruses. Most common symptoms includes:
-General ill feeling
-A runny nose
-A sore throat
-Fever greater than 100.4°F
These symptoms can appear suddenly. The time from infection to the start of symptoms (incubation period) is normally three to five days, although in some cases it is reported up to seven days. Within days of symptoms appearing, possibly deadly difficulties such as pneumonia, acute respiratory pain characteristics, and various organ failures may occur.
There is a presence of various tests for the bird flu but the sad part is that they are not widely available.
General tests include:
-Throat virus detection by RT-PCR
-White blood cell differential
-Auscultation (to detect abnormal breath sounds)
-Nasopharyngeal virus detection by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Other tests are done to observe whether body organs are operating properly or not.
Treatment for bird flu is done accordingly with symptoms arise.Several antiviral medicines are available in the market which prevents the possible risks.
– oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza)
– amantadine and rimantadine
There are various methods which can be applied to prevent Bird flu.
Majors are mentioned as follows:
-Don’t have or handle undercooked or raw poultry, egg or duck dishes.
-Always practice good personal hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly.
-Avoid visiting live animal markets and poultry farms.
-Avoid contact with surfaces that are contaminated with bird droppings.
-Don’t pick up or touch contaminated birds (dead or alive).