After Covid-19 pandemic on human body a new challenge has arise in the form of influenza or Bird flu on different species of birds, many countries in the world reported the spread of Influenza-A virus which is largely affecting poultry birds. In India, no case of bird flu in humans has been detected so far, according to the Union health ministry, however there are several reports of birds death from all over the country.
What is avian bird flu?
It is a highly transmittable viral disease caused by Influenza Type A viruses which largely affects poultry birds such as chickens and turkeys. As there are many strains of the virus found some of them are mild and may simply cause a low egg production or other mild symptoms among chickens, while others are severe and dangerous.
How bird flu spread?
Birds which are largely dependent and leave in water bodies likes ducks, geese are the natural reservoir of Influenza A viruses and the central players in the ecology of these viruses.
Many other birds can carry the flu without developing sickness or low egg production, and shed it in their droppings. As per American virology professor Vincent Racaniello “since birds excrete even while flying, they provide “a nice aerosol of influenza virus, shedding it all over the world”, as many water birds, which are migrate from other parts of the world and travel long distances normally are the carrier spread it to poultry and terrestrial birds. Sometimes, the virus jumps over to mammals such as pigs, horses, cats and dogs hence spread them on animals as well.
How bird flu affect humans?
Question arises whether it spread easily to humans? the answer is “No, it does not in general, people coming in close contact with infected living or dead birds have contracted the H5N1 bird flu, and it does not usually spread from person to person, as per the WHO, also there is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and cooked poultry food. The virus is very sensitive to heat, and can dies in cooking temperatures.
However other study shows that “if H5N1 virus spread in human body there would be chances that around 6 out of 10 confirmed cases in humans have led to deaths, and If the virus mutates and becomes easily transmissible from person to person, say by altering its shape to grab human cells much more effectively, it can potentially cause a pandemic.
What are symptoms of bird flu in human body?
Unlike in birds, where it generally infects the gut, the bird flu or influenza virus attacks the respiratory tract of humans and may cause rigorous respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Its early symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, and sometimes abdominal pain and diarrhea.
What is the treatment for bird flu?
According to Union health ministry antiviral drugs, like oseltamivir, which improves the prospects of survival in humans. The ministry also advises people working with poultry to use PPEs and follow hand hygiene