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Bird Flu

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Bird Flu Bird Flu - H5N1 is a subtype of the species called avian influenza virus (bird flu).

Bird Flu is a disease and avian flu virus is a species. The avian flu virus subtypes are labeled according to an H number and an N number.

Bird Flu subtypes that have been confirmed in humans, ordered by the number of known human deaths, are: H1N1 caused "Spanish Flu", H2N2 caused "Asian Flu", H3N2 caused "Hong Kong Flu", H5N1 is the current pandemic threat, H7N7 has unusual zoonotic potential, H1N2 is currently endemic in humans and pigs, H9N2, H7N2, H7N3, H10N7.

Bird Flu virus H3N2 is endemic in pigs ("swine flu") in China and has been detected in pigs in Vietnam, increasing fears of the emergence of new variant strains. Human influenza viruses can reassort with H5N1 in pigs and mutate into a f orm which can pass easily among humans. This is one of many possible paths to a pandemic.

The transmission and infection of H5N1 is a concern due to the global spread of H5N1 that constitutes a pandemic threat.

Bird Flu infected birds pass on H5N1 through their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces. Because migratory birds are among the carriers of the H5N1 virus it may spread to all parts of the world. Past outbreaks of avian flu have often originated in crowded conditions in southeast and east Asia, where humans, pigs, and poultry live in close quarters. In these conditions a virus can mutate into a form that more easily infects humans.

Bird Flu is spreading around the world and the virus has turned up in birds in Asia and Europe, and, most recently, Africa.

Bird Flu has only been passed from birds either to other birds or, in isolated cases, to humans. However, if the flu mutates into a strain that can pass from human to human, people will have no immunity and the flu will probably pass rapidly from person to person, creating a pandemic.

Bird Flu vaccines can only be made to protect against a particular virus, and, since the virus has yet to be passed from human to human, no vaccine can be developed.

In Asia, many people live with ducks and chickens in their homes and in their yards. Health and veterinary officials worldwide recently announced that a key way to stop the spread of the disease is to improve farming practices, segregating poultry from humans, and culling birds that have been infected with the deadly virus.

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Tags: virus, specie, infection

Category: Health  - ( Health Archive)

Date Added: 02 April '06

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