Avian influenza is known as Bird flu

Avian influenza is known as Bird flu


Avian flu is also popularly referred to as avian influenza because of its high contagiousness. Also, Avian influenza is known as Bird flu. In virological terms, the disease is called Avian influenza. The virus is related to the human flu virus and is contagious to all types of birds, especially chickens and turkeys. One animal species is more sensitive to this flu virus than the other. Let’s see more about “Avian influenza is known as Bird flu”

Avian influenza is known as Bird flu

What Causes Bird Flu?

Birds infected with avian flu usually get sick after two to seven days, but it can also be after fourteen days. They become lethargic, eat less, are very thirsty, have watery diarrhea, lay fewer eggs or eggs without shells, and get a kind of snot-nose.

Sometimes infected birds will show swelling in their head or neck and a discolored or swollen comb. After one to two days they can die of suffocation because bird flu – as with all flu types – affects the airways and lungs.

See also, Chikungunya virus infection

How is bird flu transmitted?

Bird flu, like other flu viruses, is highly contagious. The virus is transmitted by contact through body fluids and by exhalation. The manure of infected birds in particular is a source of infection, the virus can survive in it for months. This also applies to water, if bird dung has entered it.

See also,. Ebola virus disease

Can humans get bird flu?

Despite the fact that a number of people in Asian countries are already infected with bird flu, infection of people with this virus remains a rarity. In principle, humans are virtually insensitive to poultry flu.

On the other hand, the influenza virus is the most rapidly adaptive virus known. This makes the disease relatively easy to spread. The worst scenario would be for an animal flu virus to develop into a variant of the flu that is transmissible between humans. That would turn into an epidemic because human beings are not prepared for animal flu. However, the chance that avian flu will spread to humans and cause an epidemic is very small.

symptoms of Avian influenza

Avian influenza in humans ranges from flu-like symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle pain) to severe respiratory infections (such as pneumonia). Eye infections (conjunctivitis) and gastrointestinal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) may also occur. More serious infections (such as avian influenza A (H5N1, H5N6, H7N9 or H10N8) virus) can cause respiratory failure, various organ failures, and even death.

See also, Dengue virus infection

How is avian flu controlled?

In bird flu outbreaks, an attempt is usually made to allow the virus to ‘rage’ in as small an area as possible. Businesses are then cleared and transport bans come into effect. In some cases, an epidemic is successfully controlled in this way, but in others, it reappears.

Avian flu Prevention methods

Infected poultry (live or dead) or their droppings may carry the virus. Therefore, citizens should avoid contact with poultry, birds, animals, or their droppings, and pay attention to the following points to prevent infection with avian influenza:

Handling poultry

  • When buying live chickens, do not touch live chickens and chicken manure, and do not blow their tails. Wash the eggs stained with feces, wash them with detergent, and cook and eat immediately. If you need to handle chilled poultry or poultry carcasses, you must maintain personal and hand hygiene at all times. Do not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes when handling poultry, poultry products, or eggs. After that, you must wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Cook eggs thoroughly until the yolk and egg whites are solidified before eating, and do not eat the food with sauces mixed with raw eggs. Poultry should be cooked thoroughly. If the poultry still has pink gravy flowing out after cooking, or the bone marrow is still bright red, it should be cooked again until fully cooked.

See also, Yellow fever is a virus infection

Maintain good personal hygiene

  • Always keep your hands clean, especially before and after touching your mouth, nose, or eyes; before eating; after going to the toilet; after touching public facilities such as handrails or doorknobs; or when your hands are contaminated by respiratory secretions, such as after coughing or sneezing. When washing hands, clean your hands with soap and water, rub your hands for at least 20 seconds, rinse with water and wipe dry with a clean towel or paper towel. If there is no hand-washing facility or the hands are not obviously dirty, it is also an effective way to clean your hands with 70-80% alcohol-based hand rub.
  • When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with paper towels, dispose of the used paper towels in a covered trash can, and then thoroughly clean your hands.
  • When symptoms of respiratory tract infection appear, you should wear a surgical mask, should not go to work or school, avoid going to crowded places, and consult a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Maintain a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate rest, refrain from smoking, and avoid drinking alcohol in order to build good body resistance.

Maintain good environmental hygiene

  • Frequently clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as furniture, toys, and shared objects. Use 1:99 diluted household bleach (that is, mix 1 part of 5.25% bleach with 99 parts of water) for disinfection, wait for 15-30 minutes, rinse with water and wipe dry. The metal surface can be cleaned and disinfected with 70% fire wine.
  • Use a disposable wipe with strong water absorption to clean up visible dirt, such as respiratory secretions, and then use a 1:49 dilution of household bleach (that is, mix 1 part of 5.25% bleach with 49 parts of water) to disinfect the contaminated area and Neighboring places, wait for 15-30 minutes, wash with water and wipe dry. The metal surface can be cleaned and disinfected with 70% fire wine.
  • Keep indoor air circulation. Avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places; high-risk individuals may consider wearing surgical masks when staying in these places.
  • Properly maintain the drainage pipes and regularly (about once a week) pour about half a liter of clean water into each drainage port (U-shaped air barrier) to prevent odor and pollutants from entering the room through the sewer pipe.
  • If the air trap is damaged, or the drain port emits an odor, a qualified technician should immediately arrange for inspection and repair.


  • At present, there is only the H5N1 vaccine for human use, but it is only recommended for specific personnel in laboratories who are at high risk of exposure to the A (H5N1) avian influenza virus. There is currently no vaccine to prevent human infections with other avian flu.
  • Seasonal influenza vaccine cannot prevent avian influenza, but it can still help reduce the possibility of complications and hospitalization due to seasonal influenza infection and reduce the risk of simultaneous human influenza A and avian influenza. Based on the fact that the flu vaccine is safe and effective, and healthy people may also suffer from severe flu infections, except for individuals with known contraindications, all people aged 6 months or above are suitable to receive the seasonal flu vaccine for personal protection.
  • In addition, the Scientific Committee on Vaccine-Preventable Diseases recommends that some groups give priority to seasonal influenza vaccination. Recommendations are based on a number of scientific factors, including local disease burden and international experience.

anti-viral drug

  • The doctor will prescribe antiviral drugs (such as Tamiflu) to the patient based on the patient’s condition and health needs. During the process, he must consider whether there is an unsuitable use of antiviral drugs, and weigh the benefits and possible occurrences after taking it. Side effects. Indiscriminate use of antiviral drugs may cause the virus to become resistant.
  • Doctors may prescribe preventive antiviral drugs for people who have been in contact with infected birds. Although antiviral drugs are most commonly used to treat influenza, they can also be used in people who have been exposed to influenza viruses to prevent infection. However, preventive flu drugs should be prescribed by a registered doctor. Its medicinal power is only effective during the period of taking; once you stop taking it, the preventive effect will disappear. Therefore, members of the public should not take the medicine on their own to avoid side effects or resistance to the virus.

See also, SARS and MERS

Where does avian flu come from?

Avian flu usually develops in migratory waterbirds, especially mallards. These birds themselves are quite resistant to this flu virus. But if they come into contact with ‘domestic birds’ such as chickens and turkeys, an epidemic can easily develop. Domestic birds are very susceptible to bird flu. Bird markets are therefore a source of infections and epidemics.

Is there a chance that bird flu will come to the Netherlands?

The European Commission has banned the import of poultry and products thereof. The chance that bird flu will enter our country through, for example, chicken meat, is very small, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. This flu virus can still be brought into our country by travelers from countries with contamination. Travelers are therefore advised to avoid contact with birds and poultry in those countries.

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