Published on: December 10, 2021
H5N1 influenza outbreak reported in Kerala
- Avian Influenza, also known as the Avian or Bird Flu, is a form of influenza caused by a virus found in birds.
- Following strains are known to infect humans:
- Strains like the H10N8 and H10N3 also have been found to infect humans.
- H5N1 virus
- Causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds
- Human cases occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person.
- When people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60%.
- Highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet birds and wild birds.
- Influenza A viruses are classified into subtypes based on two surface proteins, Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA).
- Symptoms in humans – mild upper respiratory tract infection (fever and cough), early sputum production and rapid progression to severe pneumonia. It can lead to sepsis with shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome and even death.
- Prevention: Strict biosecurity measures and good hygiene are essential in protecting against disease outbreaks.