A Brief History Of The Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus

A Brief History Of The Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus

Although many different influenza viruses infect birds and have for a few years, the history of the avian influenza H5N1 virus in people is relatively temporary, because the first cases noted occurred in 2003 in China and Viet Nam, based on the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO only reports confirmed cases, in which the presence of H5N1 avian influenza microbes have been detected utilizing blood tests or swabs of the contaminated particular person's nose or throat.

Wild birds carry the viruses, however they're normally unaffected by them. Nonetheless, in domesticated birds (chickens, ducks and turkeys) the viruses cause sickness and sometimes death. Signs may be mild inflicting ruffled feathers and low egg production or extreme causing disease that affects multiple organs and dying in ninety-100% of flocks in as little as forty eight hours. It is believed that the degree of difference in avian flu symptoms is related to the strain of the flu virus infecting the birds. H5N1 avian influenza microbes cause extreme symptoms in poultry and in lots of cases total flocks have to be destroyed to stop the spread of the disease.

Infection with avian influenza microbes amongst humans is rare and usually happens in individuals dealing with or tending contaminated flocks of poultry and most strains, causing only mild illnesses. The history of the avian influenza H5N1 virus has shown that this strain might be deadly to humans as well. There have been 253 confirmed cases in humans since 2003, leading to 148 deaths. This high proportion of fatalities (58%) following infection with avian influenza microbes has scientists and public health officers throughout the world worried.

Viruses usually change slowly over time and the human immune system can identify them, because they are so similar to previously existing viruses and respond to them quickly. On rare occasions prior to now, viruses have modified instantly, referred to as "antigenic shift", causing extreme sickness, quite a few human deaths and worldwide epidemics. Generally these viruses had not beforehand contaminated people, but had infected other animals, corresponding to pigs or birds. Or, they had not been highly contagious among humans, as with the H5N1 strain, but out of the blue change and grow to be easily transmitted from one human to another. Since the history of the avian influenza H5N1 virus has shown that it may infect humans, scientists imagine that it might turn into highly contagious amongst them, causing pandemics or worldwide epidemics. Scientists consider that only proteins within the H5N1 avian influenza microbes would need to vary to ensure that it to turn out to be as easily transmitted amongst people as the seasonal flu.

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