Introduction

Avian Influenza (AH7N9) or conversationally called as the Bird Flu and Avian Flu is a viral infection caused by domesticated birds in the poultry farms and in our homes. The most common birds are the chickens, ostrich, turkeys and swans. These infected birds virus affect the human body by direct contact or by indirectly consuming it as meat. The main symptoms may be malaise, high fever, cough and running nose. The South East Asian countries are prominent with Avian Influenza   infections.

Spread and Symptoms

The spread of Avian Flu is mostly caused by the unhygienic conditions prevailing in the poultry farms and in your home back yards where these birds are grown for self consumption or for commercial sale. But these are largely spread by poultry farms. Nearly 85% of the mass spreading of this influenza is caused by the poultry farms. This is happening since there is no control over the illegal trade activities in the poultry business. These infected birds are transported across the countries and through international borders to our neighboring countries. These birds are already from unhygienic farms and when transported in mass, the uninfected birds do get into contact instantly. Here the humans are the final consumers of this product and soon get at risk. Apart from the commercial activity, the virus can also spread due to direct or indirect contact with dead birds by rivers, ponds and in open water tanks at your home. By stamping the fluids of dead birds or by the poultry farm wastes which are accessed by humans and do get infected. The strain of virus causes various symptoms in humans. The H5N1 virus or the Influenza (A) virus is acquired by the close contact of infected birds by humans, which causes symptoms like Runny nose, diarrhea, headache, malaise, troubled breathing, cough along with high fever of more than 100 Degree Fahrenheit.

Prevention and Cure

Avian Influenza can be prevented by taking outmost care if you are living near poultry farms. This is also applicable to your home owned farms. Keep the farms neat and clean by using permitted germ killers. The poultry farm workers are at the outmost risk from highly pathogenic avian-influenza or HPAI. These farm workers must not be exposed totally to the virus through bare hands and legs majorly. They must wear protective clothes, hand gloves and high boots for legs to prevent from infection through direct contact. Also they must wear protection glasses on eyes; nose and mouth mask to get filtered air for breathing and not get infected. The avian influenza can be cure using antiviral drugs. The commonly used drug is the Oseltamivir for LPAL (Low pathogenic avian-influenza) cases within 48 hours of noticing any of the symptoms. The H5N1 vaccine is used to prevent further spread among the living masses. The HPAI cases are diagnosed by a series of lab tests and controlled by increasing the dosage of medicines provided by a physician, since there is no permanent drug found for total cure of HPAI cases.

Research and Development

There are various lab tests going on all over the world to find an active drug for HPAI cases. The main effort of this research is to stumble upon an ultimate vaccine or develop few medicines that can slow down the effect of Influenza on humans. The USA alone is spending millions of dollars for the research and development of Avian Influenza curable drugs. The Universal flu vaccines are the motive of this high budget research activity taken up by the global initiative by Medicine Industry. The US government has also spent several billion dollars to curb H5N1 and H9N2 threats in the USA alone. Many countries local bodies in medicines are conducting various live projects directly from farms to have a good observation and research for proper detection of this deadly virus.

History of Avian Influenza

The first A(H5N1) was found in Hong Kong in the year 1997 in a poultry outbreak. Thereafter in 2003 and 2004, many reports were seen within the Asian countries like China, India, Singapore, Thailand and Korea. There was significant loss of poultry stocks, since they were the first to get infected. There were also many death cases of humans reported. Since then due to international trading of poultry stock, the virus has spread all over European and American countries. Now almost all countries of the world are aware of it. Various government and non governmental agencies are working ceaselessly to spread the awareness and prevent the outbreak of Avian Influenza. Recently there was a great outbreak prevented in time by isolating and burying infected chickens of a privately owned poultry farm in Taxes USA. China was infected by the subtype A(H7N9) virus in the year 2013 nearby its birds trading areas. It was also reported recently in a few states of East India in 2007, but these were minor cases and nearly 100 people were dead by A(H5Hn1) due to improper checks and diagnosis. In June 2014 there were H5N1 cases were confirmed in nearly 200-300 peoples in Egypt and Indonesia. Further prevention was rapidly taken care by vaccinating anti viral drug to humans and animals. Due to timely action and preventive measures, the outbreak was restricted to 300 cases only.

Conclusion

Avian Influenza is a preventable disease by taking care of the poultry stocks and our self in neat and clean environments. Regular vaccination of poultry stocks can check the virus within the poultry limits. People working in the poultry farm industry must wear protected gears before entering the farms. The farms must also equip with the advanced cleaning equipments to keep the poultry infection free. People must keep away from the poultry farms in the times of outbreak seasons. Avoid consuming bird meats in those seasons. Dispose off dead animals safely and report to the respective authorities if found abundant. Please don’t burry or burn them by yourself and get infected by the virus. Avoid travelling to those countries which are infected by this disease. Generally, the virus is found in the countries where rearing poultry is a major industry. It is mostly found in Africa, Europe, Asia and South American countries.