Infectious Diseases - Avian Flu

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EPScie120    2013                                       Major Report

Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

1. Aetiology and History of Disease

Bird Flu or known formally as Avian Influenza or Avian flu which refers to an infectious strain of disease that most commonly affect the avian group (birds).  Avian influenza can be split into two main Pathogenic groups highly pathogenic (HPAI) and low pathogenic (LPAI) strains, depending on capability to cause disease amongst poultry. The highly pathogenic avian influenza is very rarely found in humans, but can ultimately lead to severe causes of death. Low pathogenic avian influenza which is a naturally occurring infection is found to infect wild poultry, and is not an imminent threat. (FOA.ORG, date accessed 14/5/2013).

Avian Influenza is still uncertain as to how people may get affected, but it is commonly transmitted through various groups of birds. The reason it’s uncertain as to why humans may get affected is that it’s not air-borne, according to (Virol et al., 2007-2008) suggests close contact with infected poultry, even the droppings is considered the main form of transport by the H5N1 virus. These cases were human infections occur in is people is in the poultry farmers working, killing and handling poultry e.g. chickens has shown to have a vast number of cases in that particular community.

There have been many outbreaks of the avian influenza but lack the evidence to support the outbreaks. The first case of pathogenic strands of the (HPAI) Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) that has been supported and documented occurred in the U.S. (Adams, 2006) but it did not spread among people it mainly affected poultry. There have been other such outbreaks which occurred, but the first noted to catch the H5N1 bird flu through transmission occurred on May 1997 had in fact died in Hong Kong, this had caused an epidemic among the civilians living in the city (Adams, 2006). Then between late November and early December 1997, there had approx. 18 new cases had been reported. Six had died, after this about 1.4 million chickens were destroyed around the Hong Kong region to prevent any further possible spread of the disease. (Scholtissek, 2008)

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2. Diagnosis, Prognosis and Demographics

The H5N1 Avian Influenza virus once contracted is likely to have an effect of the victim within a few days. Within the first three days the symptoms are minor and very basic similar to that of a common cold, such as sore throat, high fever and coughing up high levels of mucus, and muscle pains and headaches, yet these are some of the common signs of Bird Flu (SD Bird, 2006 - 2011). After the victim has been exposed to the poultry that has the disease is a carrier. The incubation period ...

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