Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) is virus infection of affected birds transmitted to home pets and humans
Bird Flu is first noticed in Asian countries and now spread across the globe like wildfire. Bird Flu is transmitted to Humans from Birds. Bird Flu is a viral Infection. Bird Flu is first noticed in Asian countries and now spread across the globe like wildfire. Avian influenza is an infection caused by virus in birds and so called Bird Flu. Wild birds carry the viruses, but usually do not get sick from them. However, some domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys, can become infected, often fatally. Avian H5N1 influenza strains may infect various types of animals, including wild birds, pigs, and tigers. This epidemic avian influenza, the H5N1 virus, has spread into parts of Europe and Africa. Avian H5N1 infections have recently killed poultry and other birds in a number of countries. In birds and animals the viral symptoms vary , but virulent strains can cause death within a few days. Recently Avian H5N1 Flu in Humans is established causing death to many. Red alert signals from world health organization shows the seriousness of the spread. Human H5N1 influenza infection was first recognized in 1997 when this virus infected 18 people in Hong Kong, causing 6 deaths. Currently, close contact with infected poultry has been the primary source for human infection. Though rare, there have been isolated reports of human-to-human transmission of the virus.Genetic studies confirm that the influenza A virus H5N1 mutates rapidly. The reported symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical influenza-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches) to eye infections (conjunctivitis), acute respiratory distress, viral pneumonia and other severe, life-threatening complications.
Preventing and Treating Avian Flu in Humans
Vaccines to protect humans against H5N1 viruses currently are under development. In addition, research is underway on methods to make large quantities of vaccine more quickly. Research suggests that two antiviral medicines, oseltamavir (Tamiflu®) and zanamavir (Relenza®), may be useful treatments for H5N1 avian influenza. Some adverse reactions have been reported in children. However, H5N1 viruses are generally resistant to two other available antiviral medications, amantadine and rimantadine, so they cannot be used to treat avian flu.