- December 10, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Bird flu triggers alert in Alappuzha
- Avian influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet birds and wild birds.
- Occasionally mammals, including humans, may contract avian influenza.
- Influenza A viruses are classified into subtypes based on two surface proteins, Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). For example, a virus that has an HA 7 protein and NA 9 protein is designated as subtype H7N9.
- Avian influenza virus subtypes include A(H5N1), A(H7N9), and A(H9N2).
- HPAI A(H5N1) virus occurs mainly in birds and is highly contagious among them.
- HPAI Asian H5N1 is especially deadly for poultry.
- Prevention: Strict biosecurity measures and good hygiene are essential in protecting against disease outbreaks.
- Eradication: If the infection is detected in animals, a policy of culling infected and contact animals is normally used in an effort to rapidly contain, control and eradicate the disease.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI):
- The two virus types identified so far in the outbreaks — H5N1 and H5N8come under the category of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), which is of major concern to those keeping birds, because it leads to disease and death of fowl and causes economic havoc. H5N1 is a known threat to humans as well
- Out of the three types of influenza viruses (A, B, and C), influenza A virus is a zoonotic infection with a natural reservoir almost entirely in birds. Avian influenza, for most purposes, refers to the influenza A virus.
- Though influenza A is adapted to birds, it can also stably adapt and sustain person-to-person transmission.
Mode of transmission:
- Avian influenza is most often spread by contact between infected and healthy birds, though can also be spread indirectly through contaminated equipment.
- The virus is found in secretions from the nostrils, mouth, and eyes of infected birds as well as their droppings.
- HPAI infection is spread to people often through direct contact with infected poultry, such as during slaughter or plucking.
Is this influenza airborne?
- Though the virus can spread through airborne secretions, the disease itself is not an airborne disease.
Human to human transmission:
- In its present form, human-to-human infection is not known — human infections have been reported only among people who have handled infected birds or carcasses.