When India was celebrating the good news of getting the vaccine of COVID-19, a new mishap strikes various states of India. It is in the news that birds are getting affected by the ‘Avian Influenza’ which is popularly known as ‘Bird Flu’ over the past few weeks.
Mostly the following Indian states such as Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Kerala, Haryana, are worse-affected. The respiratory organ of the birds got severely affected by this flu and the main culprit behind this is the H5N1 strain of the virus. Thousands of birds have lost their lives within a few days in several states of India.
We are facing this dangerous virus for the last decade. Not only the mammals but also the human systems have been affected due to this fatal avian influenza. There are many secondary strains of this avian virus such as H9N2, H7N9, and H5N1. There are mainly two types of protein on which the secondary strains are classified. Those proteins are known as Hemagglutinin and Neuraminidase. The most deadly strain of avian influenza is H5N1 which is intensely nosogenic
Now let’s go through some details of Avian Influenza and its history
In 1996 poultries of China got infected with a sudden unidentified pestiferous disease. The main reason behind this was ‘Influenza type A’ viruses, expert gave the name to this virus ‘Avian Influenza’. Within one year from the recognition, this virus captured several cities of China.
The news of the first affected human came from Hong Kong as the virus began to change its strain from city to city. Many new strains of the virus were identified such as H5N2, H9N2. Mainly those people who were in contact with dead poultries became infected by the viruses. From 1996 to 2015 near about 500 people lost their lives due to the bird flu.
India was initially unaware of this matter but in 2006 the first time India faced this frightening virus. And from 2006 to 2015 various states of India faced this contagious virus back to back. Now in, 2021 this virus arrived again in front of us. Any disease that is caused by the bird flu in the human system primarily asymptomatic but if it succeeds in mutating to its stronger strains then India might encounter another epidemic.
Various reports said that from 1996 to 2020 near about 50 countries in the world had been infected due to the bird flu. In India, the main reason behind the spreading of the bird flu is migratory birds. If we go by the statistic of human death ratio to the bird flu-infected person, the result is less than 1.25 % but acute diseases caused by this virus are boundless.
A few symptoms can be detected in the affected birds as follows
1. Deficiency of appetite and disarrangements in feathers.
2. Birds turned to black.
3. Lump in the various parts of the birds.
4. Continuous water flows from the eyes.
5. Strange death of the birds.
How we can get the infection from the diseased birds
1. Eating eggs and chicken of infected birds without proper cooking.
2. This lethal virus can be transmitted through feathers, comb, and excrete of the infected birds.
3. By the close contact with the affected birds.
4. It can also be transmitted through the air.
Bird Flu Symptoms in human and steps to be taken
In the former year 2019, The union government announced that India is free from H5N1 bird flu but the sudden outbreak of this virus proved the claimed statement false. Though the market price of chicken and eggs has been decreased by the fear of the Flu, the Government minister Mr. G.Singh said that it is safe to take egg and chicken after proper cooking as the high temperature usually destroys the virus. The eggs should be cooked for more than 5 to 6 minutes.
The main disease which the H5N1 virus can cause to human is a respiratory problem. Primarily it is asymptomatic but after few days it generally causes mild fever, muscle itching, cough, and pain in the body. Doctors used a special drug named ‘oseltamivir’ to treat. It is strongly advised to maintain some precautionary measures to prevent the bird flu such as-
1. Using PPE kits for the people who are working in poultry farms.
2. After the livestock work one should use disinfectant.
3. Do not mix the former and current stocks of birds.
4. All the migratory birds will be quarantined in the sanctuary.
5. Any reports of the sudden death of birds must be reported to NADEC, National Animal Disease Emergency Committee.
The affected states of India took major steps to prevent this flu, they ordered to close poultry farm as soon as possible and also started to quarantine the infected birds. The officials of the union agricultural committee are examining the current situation and the people at large are looking forward to their action.