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Avian Influenza (Bird flu)

Influenza A virus has subtype H5N1 and it also goes by A(H5N1) or simply H5N1. It can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.The influenza viruses causes by wild birds or naturally in birds. They do not get sick, even though they carry the viruses. In order to catch the disease the H5N1 it already has to be in the bird’s population. As of now the H5N1 virus is not good at spreading from people to people. Lucky it has not figured out a way to do so.In contrast, the domesticated birds will have more chances to infect through viruses by wild birds such as, waterfowl. Because of using water supplies from the rivers or materials near same areas so that viruses have been spread out easily. Furthermore, the viruses may pass from one animal to another one, even to humans. Most of domesticated animals are caught by one area so that there are different flu viruses mixed together. As a result, it not only increases the bird flues wildly, but also may create the new virus. However, the most of reason why people get viruses because they eat raw or undercooked meats that causes high risk from avian influenza. The disease is of concern to humans, who have no immunity against it. The virus that causes this infection in birds can mutate (change) to easily infect humans. Such mutation can start a deadly worldwide epidemic. So we need to stop this problem before it get s any bigger.
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The first evidence, infected from birds to human, occurred in Hong Kong since 1997.There were 18 people got sick and 6 people died. First of all, according to the officials from the World Health Organization, they investigated poor sanitation and slaughtering practices were too closed to housing areas. As a result, it facilitated bird flu to spread out to people as well. Secondly, “the genetic analyzes from these cases reveled H5N1 isolated indistinguishable from the virus that was endemic in the local poultry”[[#_ftn1|[1]]]. However, H5N1 is one type of viruses what causes the disease from birds to humans. It means when farmers or people are working with poultry, they are able to infect a higher risk for getting bird flues by touching contaminated surfaces, such as cages, and dirt. Finally, people may not know they are eating poultry meats what have been caused infections.
There are several of symptoms that infect in humans and it bases on strain of virus. People may have headache, cough, running nose, fever, difficulty breathing, malaise, and diarrhea. Therefore, if you think you may have exposed the flu, you should call your health care before you visit. The reason is it will help to take proper precautions to protect them and other people. Besides, The U.S Food & Drug Administration approved a new test in 2006. “It is called Influenza Virus Real-time RT-PCR Primer and Probe Set”[[#_ftn2|[2]]]. The test will help patients to get results within 4 hours, instead of 2 or 3 days.
There is no perfect treatment and way to prevent the Bird Flu. The reason is viruses that are always changing as fast as it can. The birds shed the virus from its droppings, and the farmers or people will inhale virus. So that, every time it happens, the virus spreads out disease and creates new ones. In fact, the US had created a new type of vaccine against the old version. If people liked to get the test vaccine, it might help them to against a future version. But it is not absolutely prevented virus. Unfortunately, there are not enough vaccines to go over around the world at this moment.It has a five percent mortality rate, and the number of people that can get affected is 30-50 percent of the world’s population. On the other hand, it is very seriously concerned the avian flu virus that spreads out, even though it caused in one area of countries. Still, the area spreads over widely, the more change to create other ones to around the world. “Since the Hong Kong outbreak, the bird flu virus has spread across Asia, and in October 2005, it was discovered in poultry in Turkey and Romania. So far, hundreds of people have been infected by H5N1. Many people have died.” [[#_ftn3|[3]]]
Since the disease was breaking in Hong Kong to Asia, Chinese government had been provided some protections after the disease breaking in Asia. Every bird within the nation was slaughtered and they encouraged people who should not purchase live poultry almost one month. Besides, patients and their family were treated and isolated at hospitals. At the same time, investigations were underway to look for the source of the infection so that they could control poultry to try to contain the virus. Furthermore, Chinese government recognized all travelers who passed back and forth in Asia carefully. Thus, they also put into a lot of efforts to prevent infectious diseases from whole country.
Nowadays, Chinese government has been developed one of the other systems, which is applied to large commercial farms. “Control is far more difficuilt under poultry production systems in which most birds are raised in small backyard flocks scattered throughout rural or periurban areas” [[#_ftn4|[4]]]. Birds are housed indoors and under controlled by sanitary conditions strictly. Thus, the system will not only control local sanitation completely, but also prevent wild birds to carry more viruses to poultry. Of course, it will also lessen farmers’ pressure that they are able to improve their jobs to collect with a high t technology. Not only that, Chinese government demands that farmers or people work with birds, they requires their own protective clothing and special breathing masks when they are working.
I think the better way to prevent virus is that we have make sure our health care and clean. Because the whole process of causing disease is we are touching or handling with its virus from birds. Then, it goes through by mouth when we are eating. Therefore, it is very important and best way to protect us is washing our hands all the time before having a meal, stay away from people who are sick, and try and stay home if you are sick as well will decrease the likelihood of transmitting the influenza. Besides, government should be aware of our lived in conditions of sanitation, especially, the area where had been caused diseases. Furthermore, the local government should put out commercials regularly in order to remind people to go away from bird flu. At the same time, all countries around the world should put in efforts to produce update vaccine for preventing a new virus to catch it up. The Chinese government has there response to an outbreak, but America has a somewhat alternative response to this issue. Most Americans would want there government to have a preparation plan if indeed a deadly bird flu outbreak were to occur. The United States government has plans for this future crisis, first there would be the antiviral treatments, and quartine measures. In research the United States plan would be as followed; Canada, Mexico and the United States will work together to prepare for and manage outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza and pandemic influenza. There is no need for us everyday people to worry. We can leave that to the experts. For example, the U.S. is collaborating with others like World Health Organization (WHO) and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in preparation and planning for this pandemic. They will be handling the what-ifs in case we are ever in the midst of epidemic. They will think of emergency plans and get supplies ready when necessary. The plan also establishes a framework for action on priority areas including: trilateral emergency coordination and communication; joint exercises and training; response to outbreaks in animals; surveillance among animals and in humans; laboratory practices; research; personnel exchange; screening for air, sea and land travel; and maintaining continuity for critical infrastructure and key services.

Combining with the Swine Flu:
Unlike the bird flu, which was first discovered in Hong Kong in 1997, the swine flu was first discovered in the United States and Mexico, in spring of 2009. Thought to spread in much the same way that other flues spread (coughing, sneezing or by touching an infected item), it’s symptoms are mostly those of classic flu-like conditions (fever, cough, sore throat sometimes accompanied by nausea and intestinal distress.) It is what is known as a “quadruple reassortant” virus in that it is a combination of four different genes. Two of the genes stem from European and Asian pigs, one of the genes is avian and the fourth gene is human. Swine flu passes more easily from person to person than the bird flu does, though the bird flu is more deadly than the swine flu when it does infect a human.

Some people in the world community speculate about the possibility of the bird flu and the swine flu combining. Scientists are uncertain about the likelihood of this but warn that the swine flu virus is particularly adaptive and capable of mixing with other genetic material that it encounters. This raises fears that the bird flu could transition into a disease that is more easily transmitted. While the bird flu first gained world attention as far back as 1997, there are some cases of it infecting people even today so it is still present in the community. The potential for it to mutate and become a world wide epidemic is still possible. Pandemics in 1957 and 1968 contained a mix of human and avian influenza viruses. In other epidemics during other years, bird influenza directly infected both humans and pigs. On a positive note, a recent study published in the journal PLoS Pathogens suggests that the human nose is too cold to allow for the transmission of an avian flu virus, which needs a warmer temperature to spread. This does not, however, preclude the potential of the virus to mutate and adapt. Precautions against the spread of both flues should continue to be taken.

Map Key:
Gary- No H5N1
Light Orange- Wild Birds
Dark Orange- Domestic Poultry
Red- Human Cases

Work Cited
"2009 H1N1 Flu ("Swine Flu") and You." 5 Nov. 2009. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 7 Dec. 2009

Avian Influence: FAQs. “CBC News In depth: Avian Flu” April 6th, 2006.

Avian Flu, “BBC-Health conditions”. Nov 6th, 20

Avian Flu Pandemic Preparedness, “International SOS Commitment to Pandemic Preparedness”. Nov. 29th, 2007


Health Guide, “Avian Influenza-Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment of Avian Influenza” .The New York Times, Nov. 6th, 2008

Jenny, Ellis. “Avian Influenza in Hong Kong”, Sep. 11th, 2007

"Swine flu could mix with bird flu, expert warns." 8 May 2009. MSNBC.com 7 Dec. 2009.

Young, Esther and Dan Childs. "Swine Flu vs. Bird Flu: Which is the Greater Pandemic Threat?" 16 May 2009
ABC News. 7 Dec. 2009

[[#_ftnref1|[1]]] Avian Influenza: FAQS
[[#_ftnref2|[2]]] Avian Flu
[[#_ftnref3|[3]]] Health Guild.
[[#_ftnref4|[4]]] Avian Flu Pandemic Preparedness

Work Cited
Avian Influence: FAQs. “CBC News In depth: Avian Flu” April 6th, 2006.

Avian Flu, “BBC-Health conditions”. Nov 6th, 20


Health Guide, “Avian Influenza-Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment of Avian Influenza” .The New York Times, Nov. 6th, 2008