Bird flu

Avian influenza: symptoms in humans. Bird Flu Epidemic

Recently, you often hear about bird flu. What is this disease and how to treat it? Can a person get it, and what should I do in this case? What do we know about this disease, which appeared just over a hundred years ago? Perhaps, of course, that it existed before, just people could not then discover its cause and classify it. And about the facts of infection of people it became known only recently.

Sad Statistics

Unfortunately, cases of bird flu have been relatively rare, but they are already a fait accompli. And the number of deaths from this terrible disease is hundreds. It is important to remember that treatment should begin almost immediately, after the appearance of the first symptoms. The disease develops quickly, and with a high probability (up to fifty percent) can lead to a fatal outcome.

Therefore, everyone should be able to distinguish between the symptoms of avian flu, and take all the necessary precautions. And let today much more talk about Ebola, in fact it is not so dangerous. Its main trump card is the lack of an active vaccine. The vaccine already exists from bird flu, although it is quite expensive. But the virus that causes it is so easily and often mutated that under certain circumstances a strain can arise, against which a person has neither immunity nor a vaccine. And the flu is transmitted by airborne droplets, which in a short time can lead to the infection of millions of people. For examples, you do not need to go far. The same "Spaniard" killed about a hundred million people... In the twentieth century there were two smaller pandemics. We are saved only by the fact that, unlike Ebola, bird flu is not transmitted between people yet. But they can easily get infected from poultry.

Causative agent

The international name for this species is H5N1 (avian influenza in humans). What do the letters and numbers mean here? The disease causes an RNA-containing virus that contains 2 antigens. This is neuraminidase and hemagglutin - they are denoted by these letters. There are nine variants of the first and 16 - the second. The most dangerous combinations are H5N1 and H7N7. And in general it would be more correct to add in the beginning also to letter A, since it is to influenza type A that these viruses belong.


For the first time about bird flu was heard in 1878. Then in Italy there was an outbreak of disease affecting the chickens. But at that time he had a completely different name. Local veterinarian Eduardo Perronchito classified him then as chicken typhus. After a while, the disease was already called the classical plague of birds. Well, the fact that the epidemic with high lethality causes the flu virus, it became known only in 1955. Modern disease was only given its name in 1971.

Influenza is one of the most common acute respiratory diseases in humans. Only in our country they suffer up to thirty million people every year. And there are other viral diseases. Depressing statistics, although effective medication already exists. This is both Tamiflu and Arbidol. It is pitiable that people do not always start treatment on time, endure the disease "on their feet and sometimes they refuse to do vaccinations. The latter is doubly dangerous in the event of an epidemic of avian influenza. But about this later. Negative consequences, including fatal outcome, develop mainly due to complications. Keep in mind that the flu is especially dangerous for cores and patients with diabetes mellitus.

But this virus does not only affect people. It has long been noted that animals and birds are affected by different influenza strains. For some, it is absolutely harmless. And they, apparently, are its natural reservoirs. In the case of avian influenza, these are waterfowl, such as wild ducks and geese. For others, it is deadly.

Avian influenza: symptoms in humans

Symptoms of the disease are manifested one or two days after direct infection. The symptoms of avian influenza are similar to those that appear when a virus is already familiar to humans. As a rule, it is high temperature, intoxication and catarrhal phenomena. Then the lungs are affected. This is what distinguishes it from ordinary human influenza, in which the upper respiratory tract is most affected. Infectious-toxic shock can develop, as well as cerebral edema. Complication goes to the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, such signs of avian flu as diarrhea and vomiting are not uncommon. But at the beginning of the disease a person can simply feel weakness and malaise. With development, complications are possible. As can be seen from all of the above, distinguishing avian influenza from the habitual human in the early stages is not easy. In such cases, accompanying symptoms will help.

For example, a sick person is a veterinarian or an employee of a poultry farm. Either the malaise began after contact with a sick person, or someone from a familiar patient recently returned from a region where viral diseases are raging (in particular, avian influenza). You also need to be careful if you learn about the outbreak of disease in your area.


For today it is known about the existence of one and a half thousand viruses, five hundred of which are dangerous for humans. Among the strains of influenza are deadly to humans - avian and porcine. It seems, not too much: twenty-four are pathogenic for birds. How can a person get sick? It turns out, it's very simple.

Methods of transmission

In fact, in nature there is a species barrier, which usually does not allow diseases to be transmitted from one animal or bird to another. But, apparently, in some cases it can be circumvented. There is even an assumption that the strain of bird flu is man-made.

The same, by the way, they speak about the latest version of Ebola. In the case of avian influenza, there is information that pharmaceutical corporations controlled by the United States government infected them with woodpeckers in Asia. For what purpose this was done, remains a mystery. But it is possible that the virus was thus used as a biological weapon. More details about this can be found if you watch the documentary "Pandemic of lies". Basically, it, of course, refers to the epidemic of swine flu that swept the world a few years ago. On the court of the public are statements of scientists and data of experiments that speak about the harm of the then used vaccine in the US. There will always be people who want to make a biological weapon out of a deadly disease. How and why the virus began to spread from birds to humans, is completely unknown. And now we only need to observe precautions and learn to recognize the symptoms.


As already mentioned above, in all likelihood, wild ducks are the natural reservoir of avian influenza. But, perhaps, not only they. From them, the virus is easily transmitted to poultry at poultry farms and private farms. Therefore, in the risk group, first of all, employees of such enterprises and farmers are located.

As manifested in birds

In order not to become infected, to take security measures in time and to see a doctor, you need to know the symptoms of bird flu in birds. First of all pay attention to the chickens. If they have an unhealthy appearance, they cease to carry eggs, their feathers are ruffled, and the crests are blackened, then this is cause for concern. As a rule, if there is avian influenza, the symptoms of chickens are also high fever, diarrhea and retardation.

It is quite easy to get infected from poultry: there is enough and direct contact. Therefore, after household chores, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. And if there are suspicions that your, for example, chickens are unhealthy, then the clothes in which you were, it is better to immediately wash. And after carefully monitor your well-being. And consult a doctor with the slightest suspicion of avian influenza. Symptoms in humans are usually noticeable on the second day. With the confirmation of avian influenza, treatment should be carried out in a hospital. Poultry is completely destroyed. And although there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through heat-treated meat, the feathered fowl can not be eaten. After all, you can catch it when processing. Mortality among poultry in case of flu is up to one hundred percent.

Increase immunity

This is another way to not become infected with a dangerous disease. Do in the morning exercises. Often go on fresh air, temper your body. And also do not forget about your intestines - because the bacteria responsible for immunity live there.


The epidemic of bird flu worldwide is, in principle, possible. The fact is that usually such a virus is not transmitted from person to person. And you can get infected only from the bird. But if a person who already suffers from an ordinary flu is ill, then a fatal mutation can occur in his body. And a strain is formed that will be transmitted between people. There is no current vaccine against such a flu. It is not hard to guess that such a virus will be fatal to humans. Another option is the infection of pigs from chickens, and then the infection of a person.

If the bird flu in chickens, the only way to avoid a pandemic is to destroy all individuals. However, according to some scientists, one can hardly avoid another large-scale outbreak of the disease in the next few years. And because it is important to meet the bird flu fully armed.


The world around a person is not at all safe. And for our life and health there are many threats. But not all of them are obvious. In recent years, scientists have come to understand that the smaller the body, the more damage it can cause. These are bacteria and viruses. Although the latter are not considered alive in the full sense of the word. Here is the bird flu. It would seem that the disease does not apply to a person, but time has passed - and everything has changed. And now this virus is among the most dangerous. And if you are a poultry owner and live outside the city, then you are already at risk. After all, although chickens, for example, can get infected from wild ducks and geese, the probability of this, it turns out, is not so small. Epidemics in poultry farms are evidence of this. Therefore, the mechanism of transmission is not quite clear.

Well, if you notice any suspicious symptoms from your pets, report this to the veterinarian as soon as possible. And observe the strictest precautions. In any case, avoid eating poorly cooked chicken and eggs. Whether to take mandatory vaccination against the flu - everyone decide for themselves. On the one hand, it can save you in case of infection with an ordinary virus. On the other hand, it is by no means a fact that it will prove effective in the case of the bird. However, before vaccination, carefully assess your state of health: if you have a temperature or your Immunity is weakened by some other disease, do not rush to vaccinate a weakened virus influenza. Your body can not immediately cope with it, and you will get sick.

Avian influenza: causes, symptoms, treatment

Avian influenza refers to the infectious-viral disease of birds. For a person, some pathogens are dangerous, they lead to complications and death. As a rule, with fever, high fever rises, vomiting, diarrhea, catarrhal syndrome. Also one of the characteristic symptoms is bleeding from the gums, nose, severe chest pain. If you do not take timely measures, everything can end with acute respiratory failure, pulmonary edema. How to identify a virus? How dangerous is bird flu?

Description of avian influenza

The disease occurs with gastrointestinal, respiratory, infectious-toxic syndrome. For the first time we learned about the bird flu in 1997, the infection was recorded in Hong Kong. Then the virus began to spread in Europe, Africa. The disease was borne by wild and domestic birds. For today in Russia the infection is observed only in birds. Infection is constantly forced to fight. In the case of influenza, the bird is completely destroyed.

Important!Avian influenza is dangerous because it leads to pulmonary insufficiency and a lethal outcome.

Causes of development of avian influenza

The RNA virus, which is the cause of avian influenza, is of type A. There are a large number of antigenic types of avian influenza. For a human, strains of H7N7 and H5N1 are dangerous. These viruses can mutate, lightning fast, lead to severe forms of the disease and death of the patient. Especially dangerous is the combination of avian and swine flu.

A human bird flu case was observed that was caused by a low pathogenic subtype of H7N9, which leads to severe pathologies. Avian influenza is not afraid of low temperatures, it dies when boiled.

Who spreads the bird flu?The main source of infection - wild ducks, geese, swans, as well as poultry - turkeys, chickens. They have the virus in the intestine and spread by oral-fecal route, when a person contacts a sick or already dead bird. Until now, there have been no cases when the patient was infected with avian influenza from a person. The zootechnicians, veterinarians and those who work on the poultry farm are at risk.

Sick birds are easy to see. They almost cease to sweep, are braked, they constantly drink water, croak. A characteristic feature of the disease are red eyes and mucous membranes. Also there is a convulsive state, the gait is broken, the bird constantly has diarrhea.

Before the bird dies, you can see the cyanosis of the comb, earrings. After opening the bird, the veterinarian notices a hemorrhage into the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys. Due to the fact that poultry mass die of avian flu, it is called - chicken plague or Ebola chicken fever.

Symptoms of Bird Flu

If a person becomes infected with a virus, the incubation period can last about 3 days, rarely 2 weeks. When the disease occurs:

  • Respiratory Syndrome.
  • Infectious-toxic syndrome.
  • Gastrointestinal Syndrome.

Infectious disease occurs in acute form. Immediately the temperature rises to 40 degrees, worries about chills, headache and muscle pain. Then begins a runny nose, conjunctivitis, bleeding from the gums, nose. The happy one often has severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea. Some patients suffer from acute renal failure.

We draw your attention to the fact that on the 3rd day the respiratory syndrome begins to develop with avian influenza. Quite often there is a viral pneumonia with a strong cough, shortness of breath, hemoptysis, cyanosis, tachypnea. Because the inflammatory process is rapidly progressing in the pulmonary system, a respiratory distress syndrome develops.

Attention! If the patient does not take timely measures, the patient may die from bird flu as early as the second week of the disease. Because of which? Strongly swollen lungs, there is acute respiratory failure, can attach a secondary bacterial or fungal infection.

Very badly carry the bird flu children. They immediately begin to develop meningoencephalitis, in which there is a severe headache, the consciousness is broken, vomiting occurs.

Methods of diagnosis and treatment of avian influenza

At first, the symptomatology differs little from the simple seasonal flu, so the virus is difficult to diagnose. It is very important to differentiate it in a timely manner from rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial, adenovirus infection, parainfluenza.

When diagnosing a doctor, he must pay attention to the epidemiological situation in a particular region, and also whether the patient has contacted the infected bird or not.

To timely diagnose pneumonia, X-rays of the lung are carried out. It shows a large number of inflammatory infiltrates, which can merge with each other and spread to the lung tissue. To confirm bird flu, the following methods are used:

  • Immunological.
  • Virological.
  • Molecular-genetic.

If a patient is suspected of bird flu, he is immediately hospitalized in the infectious disease department. Then antiviral therapy is carried out, with the help of which it is possible to reduce the negative impact of the virus. For treatment, such drugs are used:

  • Zanamivir.
  • Tamiflu.
  • Arbidol.
  • Algiers.
  • Relenza.

High temperature is brought down by antipyretic drugsIbuprofen, Paracetamol. Dangerous! It is forbidden to use for avian influenzaAnalginum, Aspirin. Antibacterial drugs are prescribed if a bacterial infection is attached to the virus.

Thus, despite the fact that avian influenza is a rare disease today, it is necessary to take care of prevention. To avoid the flu, you need to constantly strengthen the immune system, and also be extremely careful about poultry meat. Buy only proven and safe products!

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Avian Influenza

Avian influenza is an infection, the causative agent of which is a certain type of avian influenza virus. This disease exists in many variations, but the most dangerous species is H5N1. Wild and domestic poultry are exposed to it, which in this case can not be sick, but can only be carriers of the disease. The higher resistance of wild birds to the impact of the virus was revealed, rather than in representatives of domestic populations.

Avian influenza in humans is in the defeat of the respiratory system and the gastrointestinal tract, while this strain of influenza is characterized by a high level of mortality.

Initially, the bird flu was called "chicken typhus" and "chicken plague." It was first discovered in 1878 by a veterinarian from Italy. But after determining the viral base of the disease, the disease was renamed "bird flu".

The spread of avian influenza in humans

There are not so many cases of human infection with avian influenza, but a significant part of them still ended in the death of patients.

In Hong Kong in 1997, the first case of infection of avian influenza not only birds but also humans was recorded. As a result of the outbreak, 18 people were hospitalized, 6 of whom died. In each case, the transmission of the pathogen was established directly from birds to humans.

Two years later, two cases of the disease were re-registered in Hong Kong, each of which culminated in the cure of infected patients.

Bird flu reminded of itself in Hong Kong already in 2003, when 2 members of the same family became ill. This case of infection ended in one fatal outcome. In the same year, the outbreak of the virus was also registered in the Netherlands, where 86 people were infected who took care of sick birds. These cases of infection proceeded without obvious symptoms and were limited to eye infections and the fatal outcome of one patient.

The greatest outbreak was recorded in 2004. For the first time, a significant mutation of the virus was detected.

To date, cases of infection with avian influenza have also been recorded in Cambodia, Thailand, Turkey and Indonesia. The total number of infections is about 200.

Ways of infection with avian influenza

The main category of carriers of a dangerous virus are birds. A person can become infected as a result of contact with sick birds. According to scientists, some animals can also carry the virus, which does not have disease manifestations. Infection often occurs in an airborne way, in which a harmful microorganism enters the respiratory tract or eyes. But isolated cases of infection after contact with sick people have been identified.

Most of the infections occur after all as a result of direct contact with the vectors of the virus. At the same time, the probability of infection with influenza through use in the food of the meat of the infected bird, since the virus was killed when exposed to high temperatures. But this does not apply to eating eggs in raw form.

Symptoms of Bird Flu

The presence of the disease can be difficult to recognize, because in many cases, the development of the disease can be asymptomatic. Signs of the flu, which affected the bird, can consist in reducing egg production, as well as various violations of the respiratory system. But the manifestation of the disease can acquire a lightning form, in which the rapid death of birds occurs.

Symptoms of avian influenza in humans are:

  • fever;
  • cough;
  • coryza;
  • pharyngitis;
  • an increase in body temperature (in some cases there was a rise in temperature to a mark of 39 degrees);
  • disorders of the functioning of the digestive tract;
  • the appearance of bleeding from the gums;
  • pain in the muscles.

Signs of avian influenza differ little from the symptoms of an ordinary disease, which is the reason for the difficulty of diagnosis.

Avian influenza can provoke the development of eye infection (conjunctivitis). Against the background of the disease can develop pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome - an ailment that affects the lungs and often ends in death.

It was found that about 8 days pass from the moment of infection to the death of the patient. In this acute respiratory failure is observed only 5-6 days after the appearance of the first signs of the disease.

Diagnosis of avian influenza

Avian influenza is dangerous high probability of completion of the fatal outcome of the patient, therefore timely and correct diagnosis is extremely important.

The specialist diagnoses after physical examination of the patient, interviewing and analyzing the results of some studies. If a bird flu is suspected, the doctor may inquire about preliminary contacts with birds, cases consumption of eggs and chicken meat in raw form, by contact with a person suffering from this strain influenza.

As additional studies, a blood test and a chest X-ray can be performed.

Treatment of the disease

Treatment of avian influenza depends on what organs were affected. It was noted the high effectiveness of the use of various antiviral drugs.

A patient with signs of bird flu should be necessarily placed in an isolated room. In contact with the patient, all employees of the medical institution are obliged to use personal protective equipment in the form of dressing gowns and gloves.


As the results of many studies show, medications developed for all types of influenza affecting the human body can be used to treat the disease. But there is a high probability of increasing the resistance of the avian influenza virus to the drugs used.

A common medicine for avian influenza is often represented by a neuraminidase inhibitor. There is no established duration of treatment and the necessary dosage of drugs, so specialists give preference to the doses that have been approved.

If suspected of avian influenza, any methods of self-medication should be excluded, since this disease requires immediate hospitalization of the patient.

Avian Influenza Prevention

If, after contact with poultry, the first signs of flu show up, you should immediately seek qualified help.

Vaccines from this serious disease still does not exist, so great attention should be paid to the prevention of the disease. Special caution is needed during the epidemic.

At this time, it is necessary to avoid visiting poultry farms and any contact with poultry, open markets for the sale of live birds.

If there are birds in the household, it is necessary to protect children from any contact with them.


In case of death of the animal to it it is not recommended to touch without gloves on hands. After the destruction of the dead bird, the clothes should be washed and the hands thoroughly washed.

A person who is to travel to a country with an epidemic of avian influenza should consult with a specialist about carrying out the necessary vaccinations. This should be done a few weeks before the trip. Such measures will help prevent common influenza and exclude it in further diagnosis of avian influenza in the event of infection.

It is recommended that gauze bandages be used continuously, with a constant change at least every three hours.

You should also remember the rules of personal hygiene, involving frequent washing of hands, as well as the refusal to eat raw or poorly cooked eggs and poultry.

Great attention should be paid to improving immunity. To this end, the diet should be diluted with various foods saturated with vitamins. As additional measures can be used drugs that stimulate immunity.

Be careful!

Avian influenza: symptoms in humans. Treatment, prevention, first signs

Bird flu (H5N1) is called a kind of influenza virus that affects birds and can be transmitted from them to humans. Transmission of the disease occurs mainly fecal-oral route.

Historical reference

Avian influenza was first described in Italy in 1880. At the beginning of the 21st century, the disease spread through migratory birds from South-East Asia to other countries such as Austria, Germany, Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Romania, Asia, South and North America, Africa. Avian influenza in Russia was discovered in 2005, it was recorded as wild migratory and waterfowl birds. The outbreaks of the disease did not bypass the Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tyumen, Kurgan, Chelyabinsk regions and the Altai Territory. The following were affected by the Kalmykia virus, the Tula region, Turkey and Romania.

For the first time, the human avian influenza virus was detected in 1997 in Hong Kong.

What is the danger of the disease?

This kind of flu is extremely dangerous for humans, microorganisms are very contagious and provoke serious damage to the lungs, the virus can affect the liver, kidneys, brain. In addition, he is insensitive to interferon preparations, "Remantadine" and has a tendency to mutations, which makes it even more dangerous. Mortality from the disease is quite high and is 50-80%.

What is the difference between an ordinary bird flu virus?

Symptoms in people at first resemble manifestations of ordinary flu. There is a runny nose, cough, body temperature is increased, a person becomes weak and lethargic. But the consequences of the disease are very severe, most of the cases result in a fatal outcome.

Therefore, if at least one bird gets sick in the holding, they destroy all the livestock in order to avoid serious consequences.

Transmission paths

The source of the infection is wild waterfowl. They themselves are not sick. Being in ponds with stagnant water, birds with feces leave there a virus through which aquatic poultry gets infected through water, and then the rest that are on the farm.

Human virus is transmitted by airborne droplets. When coughing in domestic birds, droplets of mucus or saliva are secreted. Breathing them, a person is infected. It is possible to transmit the virus by contact, by touching the objects on which the allocation of the diseased bird has remained.

The virus is able to survive for many years at a temperature below minus 70 ° C, which means it can be stored in frozen meat. The meat that has been cooked is safe, the virus dies at + 70 ° C, in addition, it can not withstand multiple repeated freezing (more than 5 times).

The high risk of catching a virus in people working on poultry farms, in rural residents, breeding poultry. Also in the risk zone are children, pregnant women and the elderly.

Main features

In birds, the disease can occur in two different forms. The first option has no serious consequences. The bird, which is sick, stops rushing, it has a cough, feathers become disheveled. The second option, which involves the defeat of the respiratory system, digestion, is fatal.

How does the bird flu show up in humans? Symptoms in people at the initial stage are similar to those of a common cold or flu, but very quickly become pneumonia. Often the disease ends in a fatal outcome.

The incubation period is from one to seven days. The disease has an acute onset - with a high fever, pain in the muscles and joints. The temperature (about 38 ° C) lasts 10-12 days, in severe cases it persists to a lethal outcome. Laryngitis, rhinitis, bronchitis appear on day 2-3, there is a severe pain in the throat. Along with such symptoms, the development of viral pneumonia occurs with a disease such as avian influenza.

Symptoms in people can be not only intoxication and catarrhal. Very often the gastrointestinal tract is affected, which is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. There may be bleeding from the nose or gums. A person who falls ill with bird flu, very quickly deteriorates.


It is necessary to provide professional medical assistance for the slightest suspicion of avian influenza. Symptoms in humans that occur after contact with a diseased bird or person are an occasion for immediate medical attention. The doctor-therapist will conduct an examination and questioning the patient, and also will appoint additional studies. When listening to the lungs, if pneumonia begins to develop, hard breathing is determined, there are wet rales. During the X-ray study, rapidly spreading infiltration is detected.

In the general analysis of blood with such a disease, there is a decrease in the number of leukocytes, lymphocytes and platelets. To make an accurate diagnosis, in addition to the blood test, it is necessary to give a smear from the nose.

A sick person can be enlarged liver, possibly developing kidney failure.

How to treat?

Treatment of avian influenza occurs in the infectious disease department of the hospital where antiviral drugs are prescribed for a person, then symptomatic therapy is performed. The most commonly used antiviral is Tamiflu, which was effectively used during the epidemics of 2008 and 2009.

A less powerful but effective drug for treating avian flu is "Arbidol, which is prescribed in a higher dosage, which provides the maximum antiviral effect. With fever and fever, drugs containing paracetamol ("Ibuprofen" Naiz "Efferalgan") help to cope. Preparations that contain interferon, necessary in order to improve the immunity of the patient.

Equally important is the complete isolation of the patient, which prevents the infection of surrounding people. Ill person should have personal personal hygiene products, bed linen, clothes, dishes, etc. In the acute period of the disease, it is often necessary to rinse the upper respiratory tract to get rid of accumulated mucus. In addition, the patient must adhere to a strict diet, eliminating or limiting fried, sharp and acidic foods.


In order to avoid infection, you must:

  • Avoid contacts with wild birds.
  • Children should be prohibited from feeding them.
  • At the slightest signs of illness in poultry, they must be destroyed, informing about what happened in the veterinary clinic.
  • Having found dead poultry, it is necessary to bury it immediately, putting on a dense mask, protective clothing and gloves.
  • If you have poultry, do not forget to wash your hands regularly.
  • It is necessary to take a course of preventive procedures in a medical institution, going to the territory where the bird flu was discovered. Prevention includes vaccinations and antiviral drugs.
  • Although cases of infection after eating chicken meat have not been officially registered, it is necessary to remember the precautions when preparing dishes from poultry meat and eggs. Careful heat treatment helps to destroy the virus.

If you find yourself at least the slightest signs of avian flu, contact the medical institution as soon as possible. Timely and qualified medical care will preserve health, and in severe cases - even life.

Bird flu

What is avian influenza? This is a serious disease that affects birds and then people. It is excited by the H5N1 virus, causing complex symptoms: difficulty with breathing, damage to the digestive system, and high mortality. This virus is especially dangerous, because it infects people too fast and changes too quickly, which makes all usual vaccines useless.

Where did the bird flu come from?

It was first discovered by Italian veterinarian Perroncito in 1878. He called it chicken flu, and subsequently this disease was dubbed a chicken plague because of its high prevalence. The scientist concluded that the disease is a viral nature. The virus is called Influenza virus A, and it belongs to the influenza viruses, because it has a similar structure, as well as an antigenic kit. Then the Italian did not yet know how dangerous this virus is and how many people it will be able to hit.

More on Avian Influenza Viruses

When doctors invented the vaccine against avian flu, they included 16 different types of hemagglutinin, which is designated by the letter H, as well as 9 different types of neuraminidase, which are denoted by the letter N in the formula of this virus.

In total, the combinations of avian influenza are as many as 144, because it is divided into subtypes. The most dangerous types of viruses for birds are H7 and H5. The virus is very susceptible to the external environment and perishes if the surface is treated with a bactericidal solution, even in small amounts. But in a cool environment, the virus lives longer.

Where does the influenza virus come from?

It is found inside birds, most often wild and predominantly ducks. At them to this type of a virus the proof immunity. But if they infect the virus of domestic ducks or chickens, they die very quickly.

Among the most common combinations of the avian influenza virus is A / H5N1. According to the forecasts of medical experts, it is this virus that can cause a pandemic all over the globe. The strain is very virulent, that is, it can spread very widely. If a person comes into contact with a sick bird or her meat, he is able to catch bird flu. Especially dangerous strain of this flu in combination with others - human and pork, then the strain of influenza changes and acquires special treachery.

More on the bird flu virus

For the first time, cases of the incidence of avian influenza in the public became known in 1997 in Hong Kong. Then the number of deaths reached more than 60%. Those people, whose manifestations of the disease were weak, did not go to the doctors, otherwise the percentage of those who died would be even higher. The most vulnerable region of the spread of avian influenza was South-East Asia.

Compared to conventional influenza, the incidence of avian influenza is certainly much lower, but the mutation of this virus causes serious concern among scientists. His possible pandemic is compared with the infamous "Spaniard which troubled the whole world in 1918-1919. Then because of this virus, up to 100 million people died.

There are speculations of scientists that avian influenza can cause a new pandemic, which can be the culprit of more than 150 million deaths throughout the planet. Therefore, vaccination against regular influenza once a year is a logical defense against bird flu, since a specific vaccine has not been invented yet.

Symptoms of avian influenza in birds

As soon as the virus strikes the bird, the disease can take place in a latent form from 20 to 48 hours. The bird shows a clearly visible inhibition, the bird does not bear eggs, and drinks a lot. The feathers of a sick bird stick out in different directions, her eyes turn red. A beak is released from the beak, and before the bird dies, its earrings and a crest are bluish. These symptoms can be accompanied by cramps and unstable gait.

When a bird exposed to the flu is opened, doctors notice bleeding in the respiratory tract and on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, as well as on the liver and kidneys.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to cure such birds - they perish. In order not to infect other birds and people sick with bird flu of individuals are destroyed.

What are the symptoms of avian flu in humans?

  • The temperature is raised to 39 degrees Celsius and above
  • The man is chilling
  • Head and muscles ache
  • There is dry cough
  • There is pharyngitis
  • Eyes red and watery, doctors diagnose conjunctivitis
  • There may be vomiting, delayed breathing, severe pneumonia, which is rapidly developing
  • Most often, the bird flu in humans ends in a lethal outcome

Doctors also observe a so-called cytokine storm in avian influenza. Cytokines are substances that secrete the body's immune system in response to the invasion of avian influenza viruses. It is noteworthy that it is the avian influenza viruses that cause so many cytokines as the body's response to the intervention of influenza pathogens. Therefore, the already listed symptoms are manifested - high fever, headache and so on. Because of the large number of cytokines, organ tissues are destroyed in the place where the infection has penetrated, therefore the body systems can be disconnected. The person dies.

Is Avian Flu Treated?

Yes, it is treated with new generation drugs that can affect most strains of influenza. This zanamivir, as well as oseltamivir (known as Tamiflu - by the name of the brand that produces it). It is not known whether other drugs can interfere with avian influenza viruses.

Avian Influenza Prevention

As we have already mentioned, the vaccine against avian flu has not yet been invented. Although scientists from all over the world work on it. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the usual methods of preventing avian influenza

  • Do not allow the child to play with birds, especially if they show signs of illness
  • Do not buy unchecked meat
  • If you keep domestic birds that suddenly died, do not touch them without gloves
  • After you have destroyed the sick bird, you need to wash your hands thoroughly and wash your clothes
  • If, after touching the bird, you develop flu symptoms, you should urgently consult a physician-therapist

Avian influenza, fortunately, is very rare in our country. But all the same, you should follow all the precautions that will allow you to stay healthy.

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