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Question

Discuss in brief about 'Avian flu'.


Solution

  • Avian flu or Bird flu is an infectious viral disease of birds (especially wild waterfowl such as ducks and geese).
  • It was first recorded in Italy in 1878.
  • In 1955, it was discovered that virus causing Avian flu was an Influenza virus.
  • Bird flu is similar to swine flu, dog flu, horse flu and human flu as an illness caused by strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host. 
  • The causative organism of avian flu disease is the H5N1 virus.
  • Birds infected with H5N1 virus continue to release the virus in feces and saliva for as long as 10 days.
  • It can be spread through touching contaminated surfaces.
  • Symptoms of Avian flu include high temperature, sore throat, headache, tiredness, limb or joint pain, diarrhoea or stomach upset, sneezing, loss of appetite, acute respiratory distress, insomnia, malaise, muscle aches.
  • This disease is transmitted to humans through contact with infected birds feces, saliva, nasal secretions or secretions from mouth or eyes.
  • Treatment includes antiviral medications such as Oseltamivir and Zanamivir.

Biology

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