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Readers ask: What is the bird flu virus?

How does bird flu spread to humans?

How does bird flu spread to humans? Usually, the viral infection is spread by close contact with infected birds (dead or alive) such as – touching infected birds, touching droppings or beddings, killing or preparing infected poultry for cooking, etc.

Does bird flu still exist?

The virus continued to kill chickens and to occasionally infect and sometimes kill people. But as the years passed, the number of human H5N1 cases subsided. There has not been a single H5N1 human infection detected since February 2017. This is the good news.

What is bird flu caused by?

Bird flu is caused by a type of influenza virus that rarely infects humans. More than a dozen types of bird flu have been identified, including the two strains that have most recently infected humans — H5N1 and H7N9. When bird flu does strike humans, it can be deadly.

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Can bird flu happen to humans?

Do avian flu viruses infect humans? Bird flu viruses do not usually infect humans, but several cases of human infection with bird flu viruses have occurred since 1997.

Can eating chicken cause bird flu?

This said, the consumption of poultry meat and eggs is not considered to be the principal source of transmission. Studies have noted that H5N1 viruses spread from poultry to humans primarily by contact with respiratory secretions, faeces, blood and the organs of infected birds.

How did bird flu start?

The virus was first detected in 1996 in geese in China. Asian H5N1 was first detected in humans in 1997 during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong and has since been detected in poultry and wild birds in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

When was the last bird flu outbreak?

Outbreaks caused by avian influenza viruses, including both highly pathogenic avian influenza ( HPAI ) and low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) occur In U.S. domestic poultry from time to time. For example, HPAI H5 viruses (H5N1, H5N2 and H5N8) were detected in 21 U.S. states from December 2014 to mid-June 2015.

How long did bird flu pandemic last?

Between 1959 and 1995, there were 15 recorded occasions of the emergence of HPAI viruses in poultry, but losses were minimal. Between 1996 and 2008 however, HPAI outbreaks in poultry have occurred at least 11 times and 4 of these outbreaks have involved millions of birds.

How long did swine flu last?

The 2009 swine flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic that lasted about 19 months, from January 2009 to August 2010, and was the second of two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus (the first being the 1918–1920 Spanish flu pandemic).

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How is bird flu prevented?

Things you can do to prevent bird flu wash your hands often with warm water and soap, especially before and after handling food, in particular raw poultry. use different utensils for cooked and raw meat. make sure meat is cooked until steaming hot. avoid contact with live birds and poultry.

Is it safe to eat egg in bird flu?

The document suggests that proper cooking inactivates the virus present inside meat and eggs. Poultry meat and eggs from the areas affected by the outbreak of bird flu should not be consumed raw or partially cooked. Properly prepared and cooked poultry meat and eggs are safe to eat, the FSSAI said.

Are eggs safe during bird flu?

As the country grapples with the bird flu outbreak, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said that properly-prepared and cooked poultry meat and eggs are safe to eat.

Can bird flu be cured?

However, there is no commercially available vaccine for humans against bird flu strains. Besides antiviral medication, patients can also go for natural cures that help relieve symptoms of bird flu and boost the immune system, making the body easier to fight off infections.

How do you treat bird flu in humans?

Studies suggest that antiviral drugs developed for human flu viruses would work against bird flu infection in humans. The H5N1 virus, however, appears to be resistant to at least two of the drugs, amantadine and rimantadine.

What is the mortality rate of bird flu?

Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza 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%.

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