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Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

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Madeleine Student

on 30 September 2013

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Transcript of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) H5N1 and H7N9
The Basic Avian Influenza virus A (H5N1)
The most common type of Avian Influenza is H5N1. This infection occurs normally among birds around the world. It infects the bird's intestines and is very contagious. It is rarely fatal for most of the wild birds it infects because they have built up defenses against it. However, when passed to domestic birds or humans, the effects are immediate and terrible.
Avian Influenza in Domestic Birds
Avian Influenza is passed through the saliva and feces of infected birds that come into contact with another bird. This can happen through food, water, the ground and in some cases cages. There are two main types of Avian Influenza in poultry, categorized by their virulence or strength. The weaker pathogenic form usually goes unnoticed and it causes very mild symptoms. The stronger pathogenic form spreads quickly through all of the organs and generally kills the bird within 48 hours.
Avian Influenza in Humans
It was known that humans could be infected by Avian Influenza type H5N1. It was discovered that another strain of Avian Flu was able to infect humans after an outbreak in China during April and May of 2013. The virus was H7N9, another strand of Avian Influenza that was more deadly than H5N1. This fairly new Influenza virus was first reported in China in 1997 in poultry. The 2013 outbreak included approximately 130 reported human infections with H7N9. Many of the infected humans had had close contact with infected poultry. Over half of the infected humans died and all of them had severe respiratory conditions. This virus is suspected to pass from birds to other mammals such as pigs and then to humans.
So far there is no highly effective treatment of H5N1 or H7N9 viruses. There is one drug, called Oseltamivir that can slow the spread of a virus. It stops the virus from chemically cutting ties with its host cell. Oseltamivir is sold under the brand "Tamiflu." Another possible treatment could be Relenza, which is a drug is the same category as Oseltamivir. Relenza which also prevents the spread of influenza viruses may be useful against H5N1 and H7N9. Still, there are no vaccines and a pandemic could be in the future if the virus mutates to in a way that enables it to spread from human to human.
This is an electronic micrograph of H5N1 virus.
By Brigid Hanley
The symptoms of Avian Influenza may include fever, cough, muscle aches, or even eye infections, pneumonia, and severe respiratory problems.
There has been no evidence of sustained person to person spread of this virus.
These viruses have seasonal patterns and they are expected to start up again this fall.
This is how Bird Flu infects humans.
This is an electronic micrograph of influenza A H7N9 virus. Both streptococcus and bacillus are pictured.
This is a video from April 2013, during the H7N9 epidemic.
Avian Influenza is extremely harmful because it can infect and kill many species of our domestic birds. We need domestic birds for meat and eggs which are leading sources of protein. Avian Influenza has the potential to mutate to a form that can spread from human to human. A mutation like this could begin a worldwide pandemic predicted to be worse than the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. Estimates suggest that millions to billions of people could die all over the world. The world health organizations study the virus, how it's spreading and in turn attempt to teach countries all over the world to take precautions to make sure the virus won't mutate. For instance there is currently a ban on live bird importation. Scientists are working every day to create an effective vaccine.
Ban on Bird Importation
There is currently a ban on the import of live birds to the United States from countries with high Avian Influenza rates. Pet birds traveling must go into quarantine for 30 days after entering the United States.
Countries with High Avian Influenza Rates
East Asia and the Pacific
-China -South Korea
-Thailand -Japan
- Indonesia -Vietnam
Europe and Eurasia
-Albania -Russia
- Romania -Turkey
Most of Africa and The Middle East
"Bird Flu (H5N1) Treatment." Bird Flu (H5N1) Treatment. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. <http://www.news-medical.net/health/Bird-Flu-(H5N1)-Treatment.aspx>.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 Nov. 2010. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/facts.htm>.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/outbreaks/embargo.htm>.
"Images of Avian Influenza A H7N9." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 May 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/h7n9-images.htm>.
"MIT Researchers Study Pandemic Potential Of H5N1 & H7N9 Virus." Asian Scientist Magazine Science Technology and Medicine News Updates From Asia RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. <http://www.asianscientist.com/in-the-lab/mit-researchers-study-pandemic-potential-h5n1-h7n9-virus-2013/>.
"Remember the Bird Flu? It's Back & Might Be Worse than Ever..." YouTube. YouTube, 30 Apr. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. <
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