Avian influenza: Definition
Bird flu is an infection caused by a virus of the Orthomyxoviridae family which includes several genres including Influenzavirus A. It is divided into subtypes including the H5 and H7. This infection can affect almost all species of birds, wild or domestic. It can be highly contagious and is likely to cause high mortality. The avian influenza virus can also infect pigs. The strains H5N1, H7N7, and H9N2 can be transmitted to humans, is not immune, can quickly get sick and even die from complications.
Bird flu: causes
Transmission of the virus from birds to humans can occur when birds come into contact with the virus through food, water or particles contaminated with the virus. The virus can be spread by the droppings of migratory birds, which are natural carriers. It can survive for three months at cold temperatures. It can also survive in water at 0 ° C for more than 30 days and 22 ° C up to 4 days. If a person through his work in close contact with birds inhale dust particles contaminated with the virus, or is contaminated by other modes, the risk of contracting bird flu.
Bird flu: symptoms
In birds: after a incubation period of 3 to 5 days, the signs can be: loss of appetite, substantial reduction in egg production, then move to a sudden death of poultry (mortality can reach 90 to 100%).
In humans: after an incubation period of up to seven days according to WHO, the disease appears first as an ordinary flu (fever over 38 ° C associated with sore throat, muscle aches and respiratory problems such as coughing), but it gets worse rapidly due to severe respiratory problems.
Avian Influenza: Prevention
There is no preventive treatment against bird flu, however, under certain circumstances, anti-viral therapy post-exposure oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®) could be proposed. Wearing a protective mask to prevent possible contamination by contact with birds is recommended for staff working on farms. It is advisable to avoid contact with surfaces that appear contaminated with feces from poultry or feces. It is also recommended not to eat poultry or egg products undercooked
Avian influenza: review
There are tests for rapid diagnosis of influenza that simply allow or not to confirm the existence of influenza virus without specifying the type.
Avian Influenza: Treatment
Treatment is primarily supportive. Of anti-viral oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®) can reduce symptoms and complications of the disease. It is only effective if administered within 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. Health authorities should prepare a plan for using these medications. Antibiotics, inactive viruses, are used only if secondary bacterial infection.
Avian influenza: developments
We are currently trying to elucidate the ability of the virus to spread easily from person to person. The avian virus that has acquired some of the genes of human influenza virus could easily infect humans.
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