In this essay we will discuss about:- 1. History of Bird Flu 2. Symptoms of Bird Flu 3. Causative Agent 4. Prevention 5. Dissemination 6. Persons in Danger 7. Caution from WHO 8. Available Drugs.
Essay on the History of Bird Flu:
Bird flu or avian influenza is a viral disease of birds — it spreads in different countries by ignoring the different laws through the migratory birds. It is a highly contagious poultry disease, causes high mortality in poultry birds. The disease is known to us for more than a century.
The most recent outbreak of the disease was in February 2006, from India where the poultry farms were highly affected in some parts of the country like Maharashtra (Nandurbar and Dhule district), etc. The severity was so much that 50,000 chickens were reported to have died in a week and about 900,000 chickens were slaughtered and buried. But no human infection was confirmed, though it was suspected at that time.
There have been a number of small outbreaks of bird flu in human beings since 1997 and showed a high mortality rate. The disease in humans was first reported in 1997 in Hong Kong, where 18 people were infected and 6 people died.
Since then it was also found in China, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries. More attention has been given since some strains infect humans. In spite of that, in 2003 in Hong Kong two people were infected and one died. Recently, in 2004, in East Asia, as many as 10 deaths have been linked to an outbreak of the disease.
Essay on the Symptoms of Bird Flu:
The infected bird shows the following symptoms:
1. Comb becomes black in colour,
2. Release of water from nose and eye,
3. Swelling of head, eyelids, combs, neck and leg,
4. Lack of energy and appetite,
5. Irregular arrangement of feathers.
6. Movement in a circular pattern,
7. Sudden death of the bird.
The infected human shows the following symptoms:
Coughing, fever, sore throat and aching muscles to eye infection and more serious pneumonia and other respiratory problems — ultimately threaten the life of humans.
Essay on Causative Agent of Bird Flu:
The disease is caused by Avian Influenza A, a DNA virus. It is also called “H5N1 virus”, a subtype of the above. There are many different subtypes of type A influenza viruses. These subtypes differ because of certain proteins on the surface of the influenza A virus [hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) proteins].
There are 16 known HA subtypes and 9 known NA subtypes of influenza viruses. Many different combinations of HA and NA proteins are possible. Each combination represents a subtype. All known subtypes of influenza A viruses can be found in birds.
“Human influenza virus” usually refers to those subtypes that spread widely among humans. There are only three known A subtypes of influenza viruses (H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2) currently circulating among humans. It is likely that some genetic parts of current human influenza A viruses came from birds originally. Influenza A viruses are constantly changing and they might adapt over time to infect and spread among humans.
Essay on the Prevention of Bird Flu:
While handling poultry:
1. Wear gloves, shoes and masks,
2. Use disinfectants afterwards,
3. Avoid mixing of old and new stocks of birds,
4. Avoid accumulation of foul matters (filth).
Handling migratory birds:
1. Monitor all the birds in the sanctuary,
2. Segregate birds found drooping and test their blood,
3. Death of birds in sanctuary must be reported to the National Animal Disease Emergency Committee (NADEC).
Essay on Dissemination of Bird Flu Disease:
The viruses are able to infect human beings by the following ways:
1. Consuming infected birds.
2. Consuming infected eggs.
3. Viruses can disseminate through feathers, excreta etc., of infected birds.
4. Virus can disseminate through direct contact with infected birds.
5. Virus can disseminate through air.
6. The virus can disseminate in different countries through migratory birds.
Essay on Persons in Danger of Bird Flu:
The following persons may be infected very easily:
1. Those who maintain poultry in domestic house,
2. Those who live near poultry farm, or
3. Those who maintain other domestic birds.
Essay on Caution from WHO:
According to World Health Organization (WHO) “the Avian Influenza will continue to pose a risk to human health as the disease has proven itself capable of crossing the species barrier”. The larger problem, however, is if the avian influenza strain mixes with a human influenza strain, producing a new strain that could spark a human influenza pandemic.
Alternately, the currently circulating avian influenza strain could mutate into a form that is easily spread among human beings, which could set off an influenza pandemic. Pandemic typically cause great numbers of disease and death, and are accompanied by significant social and economic disruption.
How chicken and eggs can be consumed:
1. The virus gets killed in heat. Chicken should- be cooked until the juices run clear and it reaches an internal temperature of 82.2°C (180°F).
2. The egg should be boiled for more than five minutes after proper washing the outer side.
Precautions before Consumption:
1. Avoid of consuming frozen fowl. Because infected birds shed the virus in their droppings, saliva and nasal secretions and it spreads through droplet infection (from coughs and sneezes).
2. Don’t consume the dead birds.
3. Avoid consuming different preparations like poach, half boiled eggs, etc.
Available Drugs for Treatment of Bird Flu:
1. The primary treatment option is the flu drug Oseltamavir (Tamiflu), a neuraminidase inhibitor that works by preventing the virus from escaping its host cell.
2. Other antiviral flu drugs — Relenza and Zanamavir — are also used as an alternative.