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avian flu

What’s in news?

  1. Recently, China met with Bird flu outbreak in Liaoning province in the month of April.
  2. Samples collected from a state-run duck breeding centre tested positive for the deadly strain of avian influenza (H5N1 Virus).
  3. Flu in the northern hemisphere is declining but still predominating, WHO said.

Key data’s:

  • Highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 bird flu were recorded at a farm in north-eastern Liaoning province, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said.
  • Mass culling of birds was undertaken in Cuttack by authorities after samples collected from a state-run duck breeding centre tested positive for the deadly strain of Avian influenza (H5N1 Virus) which spreads from bird to bird.
  • In northern Hemisphere, H3N2 strain is dominant in northern America but very few influenza B viruses detected. In Europe, flu is at baseline or low intensity in 34 countries, and at middle intensity in 13 countries. Flu activity in western Asia saw an overall decrease, but still elevated in its levels in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In East Asia, flu showed signs of decline.

What is H5N1 virus?

  • H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza (or “bird flu“). It is a viral infectionspread from bird to bird.
  • Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person. When people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60%.


  • This transmits, when we are in close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments.
  • The virus does not infect humans easily, and spread from person to person appears to be unusual. There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly prepared and thoroughly cooked food.
  • Symptoms: Fever (often high fever, > 38°C) and Malaise, Cough, Sore throat, and Muscle aches. Other early symptoms may include Abdominal Pain, Chest Pain and Diarrhoea. The infection may progress quickly to severe respiratory illness.

Steps taken by WHO:

  • WHO collaborates with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to control and prevent the spread of animal disease.
  • WHO’s global laboratory system, the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) identifies and monitors strains of circulating influenza viruses, and provides advice to countries on their risk to human health and available treatment or control measures.

Influenza Virus:

  • Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an infectious diseasecaused by an influenza virus. The most common symptoms include High fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, cough, sneeze & feeling tired.
  • Influenza are RNA virusesthat make up four of the seven genera of the family Orthomyxovidae four types of influenza viruses affect humans: Type A, Type B, and Type C, Type D.
  • The Type A viruses are the most virulent human pathogens among the four Wild aquatic birds are the natural hosts for a large variety of influenza A. this type of viruses are transmitted to other species and may then cause devastating outbreaks in domestic poultry or give rise to human influenza pandemics.
  • Influenza B is less common than influenza A almost exclusively infects humans.
  • Influenza C virus, which infects humans, dogs and pigs, sometimes causing both severe illness and local epidemics.
  • Type D has not been known to infect humans, but is believed to have the potential to do so.
  • The virus is spread through the airfrom coughs or sneezes and believed to occur mostly over relatively short distances.

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