BIRD FLU: It is an infectious disease of birds ranging from mild to severe form of illness
1. What is Bird Flu?
Bird flu or avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds ranging from mild to severe form of illness. All birds are thought to be susceptible to bird flu, though some species are more resistant to infection than others. Some forms of bird flu can cause illness to humans.
2. What causes bird flu?
Bird flu is caused by different subtypes of influenza A virus affecting chickens, ducks and other birds Viruses which cause mild disease can mutate into viruses that can cause serious disease (highly pathogenic).
To date, all outbreaks of the highly pathogenic form have been caused by Influenza A /H5N1 virus, the only subtype that cause severe disease in humans.
3. What are the symptoms of bird flu?
Symptoms of bird flu in humans have ranged from typical flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches) to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases (such as acute respiratory distress), and other severe and life-threatening complications.
4. How is bird flu transmitted in chickens and other birds?
- Direct contact with discharges from infected birds, especially feces and respiratory secretions.
- Contaminated feed, water, cages equipment, vehicles and clothing
- Clinically normal waterfowl and sea birds my introduce the virus into flocks
- Eggs from infected hens can break and contaminate incubators
Birds that survive infection excrete virus for at least 10 days, orally and in feces. Highly pathogenic viruses can survive for long periods in tissue, water and the environment, especially when temperatures are low.