What is Bird Flu Disease?
Bird Flu or Avian Influenza is a sickness through influenza virus that primarily affects birds. It was first noticed in the late 1990s among the domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks and turkeys. The severity of this disease among other bird flu diseases was remarkable because of its ability to cause quick multiple ruthless deaths. Immediate control measures were taken then among the infected birds in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe including vaccinating the healthy birds and destroying the infected ones but the virus still continues to exist among the poultry birds in the affected countries.
Bird Flu Facts
Bird Flu diseases are also known as avian influenza or avian flu.
These diseases are highly contagious & spread easily among domesticated birds, however, it is not very much contagious to humans—only 600 deaths have been reported so far since 1997. It occurred to only those who were in close contact with the infected birds. There is no authentic report of human to human transmission. However, human infections with bird flu diseases were fatal in 60% cases.
This disease was first noticed in late 1990s and was termed as “highly pathogenic” or unusually severe as it resulted quick deaths of millions of poultry and other birds.
Attempts were made to control this epidemic by vaccinating healthy birds and culling infected birds.
Another new mutated sever virus of bird flu disease appeared in 2011 that was resistant to the existing vaccine of bird flu diseases.
Bird flu diseases have not yet been found in United States.
How it Spreads
The virus of the bird flu diseases spread from bird to bird through their nasal secretions, dropping and mostly from saliva. The healthy birds get infected in contact with the infected surface and secretions from other birds within the cage. The symptoms of bird flu diseases can be noticed from fall in egg production to multiple organ failure resulting deaths.
Bird flu diseases are caused by three main types of influenza viruses, A, B & C. The most common type of bird flu that we are discussing here are caused by influenza A virus which has 8 RNA pack that makes its set of chromosomes. There are various types of influenza viruses that prefer to set themselves within a few species of animals and birds, such as bird flu, swine flu viruses. Human influenza viruses are distinct from these influenza viruses.
Tips and comments
Diagnosis & Treatments
Symptoms occur within 2 to 8 days with fever, sore throat, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and other flu like symptoms. It may cause ARDS or acute respiratory distress syndrome, a critical form of pneumonia.
To make a proper diagnosis of bird flu viruses specialized tests are needed. Normally the viruses are detected through sputum test including culture of PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction in a laboratory with highest bio- safety authorization.
The main problem associated with the proper diagnosis of blood flu diseases is prolonged diagnosis process -- blood samples are taken twice, firstly at the onset of the disease and another sample several weeks later. This is done so because the body makes antibodies against the viruses and unless the proper estimation of antibodies development are made proper treatment cannot begin. In most cases the ultimate diagnosis is received when the patient has recovered from illness or has left for heavenly abode.