Health Program

 Avian Influenza

Definition


The Avian Influenza is usually natural in wild birds. It becomes harmful when transmitted to domestic birds. It is hard to prevent contamination of domestic birds because it is highly contagious among birds and is transmitted through saliva, nasal secretions, and feces. If this virus ever changes form to a string that is highly contagious among humans, there will be a pandemic.


Cause


This virus is caused by the influenza virus that infected birds. The H5N1 string is passed from bird to bird. Manure, bird feed, equipment, vehicles, egg flats, and crates become contaminated with the virus through the feces of the bird. Then as the humans get contaminated they spread the virus through clothing and shoes.


Risk Factors


  • Consumption of infected poultry

  • Direct contact with infected bird or human

  • Global panic


Risk Groups


  • People in Asia or other countries that have reported cases

  • The very young and the elderly, because of low immune systems

  • People that come in contact with dead birds, or any excrements of birds


Treatment


Vaccine development is in the works. The effects of anti-viral drugs are still unknown. Some prototype vaccines are available for research and development.


Prevention


To prevent catching the Avian Influenza, always wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and avoid traveling where cases have been reported. You should also maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of rest. In places where cases have been reported wear a medical mask. To make sure that you get the virus out of any poultry be sure to cook the poultry product well, and avoid cross contamination. Avoid the use of raw eggs for cooking or baking.


Statistics


  • In the year 2003 the Netherlands had an outbreak of the avian influenza that spread to Belgium and Germany. Just in the Netherlands more than 30 million birds were destroyed, 2.7 million in Belgium, and 400,000 in Germany.

  • Total number of confirmed human cases (worldwide) from 2003-2006 is 251 cases, 148 of cases died.

  • Every year the total number of cases worldwide grows, but the survival rate also grows.