The world we live in has been experiencing different kinds of threats to health for ages now. There has been one or the other type of influenza, which is usually referred to as Flu that has threatened the mankind. The medical professionals have been striving hard day in and day out to protect mankind from such flu. One such flu that has been threatening the mankind for many years now is the Avian Influenza. Let us look at some interesting facts about the Avian Influenza virus in the past and the current scenario
Avian Influenza Virus – The past
1. Avian Influenza which is predominantly caused by a virus was found as early as 1878 in Italy. It is contagious in nature. It gets spread due to the migratory birds that carry them in particular the Geese and the Duck. The surprising fact is geese and Duck have the maximum resistance to the influenza virus.
2. As far as the vulnerability of the birds to this virus is concerned turkeys and chickens are considered as highly vulnerable though every bird species get affected in the worst manner. While interaction between the poultry and waterfowl spreads this epidemic, cage birds are no exceptions to this.
3. The influenza virus is present in the foot of the rat besides the birds. While the virus spreads through contacts between birds, live birds selling markets act as one of the main sources for the same to spread. The influenza virus spreads quickly through the shoes and clothes worn by people who get in touch with influenza virus affected birds, the cages in which affected birds were protected, feed equipments and vehicles in which virus affected birds are transported
4. The Influenza virus can survive in the water for almost four days. The most alarming fact is that this virus can keep itself alive in the bird droppings for more than 3 months time. The adamancy of the influenza virus is witnessed in the way it mutates itself to a form resisting the medication administered against it. Like it is witnessed in science fiction movies, this deadly virus can survive as well as well as contaminates in such a speedy manner that medical science is stunned at the pace and adamancy. It has the capability of contaminating many species and does not stick to one at any point of time
5. The devastating capabilities of this Avian Influenza virus were experienced during the years 1983-84. It was during this time that the medical field started taking Avian Influenza Virus as a serious medical concern. The People of Pennsylvania witnessed a 90% of their bird population killed by this deadly Avian Influenza virus spreading itself within 6 months from the first attached.
Avian Influenza Virus – Current situation
6. Today, Avian Influenza virus is predominantly found in South East Asian countries. It is medically termed as H5N1 in these countries.
7. The alarming factor about these H5N1 strains is, while it spreads from one bird to another in the yester years, taking mutating itself in various forms, today, it contaminates human spreading out from birds. This has caused serious concerns in the Medical field paving way for many researches which are carried out on an emergency basis.
8. Medical Experts have not ruled out the possibilities of Avian Influenza virus passing from human to human. This is because of the capability of the virus to mutate itself to various forms.
9. Instructions have been released to destroy the whole flock of birds and all accessories used for them as soon as one of the birds in the flock is tested positive for Avian Influenza Virus. If these measures are taken immediately without any delay, the contamination created by Influenza virus can be contained in a highly effective manner. Non adherence to the above instructions in the year 1992 caused Mexico a huge irreversible damage and the situation continued till the year 1995. On the contrary, strict adherence to the above instruction from the Hongkong Government, which destroyed approximately 1.5 million birds within a span of 3 days saved the country from an unimaginable catastrophe.
10. Avian Influenza Virus affected humans first in the year 1997 and this was in Hongkong. Totally 18 humans got infected out of which 6 died. The outbreak of this deadly virus that mutated itself in different forms infecting humans was experienced by the Netherlands, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand during the year 2003. These countries lost around 60 citizens of theirs to this lethal virus.
As of today’s vaccines are not available to escape from this killer virus, though many medical companies are trying to develop vaccinations for the same. If you have a combination of symptoms like muscles aches, viral pneumonia, fever, eye infections, sore throat, respiratory problems and cough, seek medical assistance immediately.