The World Health Assembly, where Ministers and senior officials from Health Ministries from all over the world meet once a year, started last week. Experts warned that an influenza pandemic is imminent, and it could threaten the lives of several millions of people and cause severe economic and social dislocation. They urged countries to have national strategies to counter the threat.
Avian influenza —known informally as avian flu or bird flu is a variety of influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds. Bird flu is similar to swine fludog fluhorse flu and human flu as an illness caused by strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host. Out of the three types of influenza viruses ABand Cinfluenza A virus is a zoonotic infection with a natural reservoir almost entirely in birds.
Many influenza experts agree that an influenza pandemic is inevitable and possibly imminent. Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by particular strains of the influenza virus. The disease occurs worldwide, and is most commonly found in migratory water birds.
Bird flu, also called avian influenza, is a viral infection that can infect not only birds, but also humans and other animals. Most forms of the virus are restricted to birds. H5N1 is the most common form of bird flu.
Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian bird influenza flu Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans.
Iraq today reported another highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza outbreak on a commercial poultry farm, part of ongoing activity in a handful of countries in the Middle East, as events involving other strains were confirmed in Cambodia, South Korea, and Taiwan. The outbreak began on Feb 8, killing 13, of 29, susceptible birds. The survivors were culled to control the spread of the virus.
This H5N1 influenza A virus is extremely virulent in poultry including chickens and ducks, killing millions of birds throughout the region. Additionally this virus has transmitted to humans mainly children in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, killing 54 of diagnosed persons. To control this epidemic hundreds of millions of chickens and ducks have been culled.
The bird is then returned to the hunter, completely unharmed for consumption or for taxidermy purposes. Like humans, birds can catch flu viruses, with some strains being worse than others. AI strains are divided into two levels of severity: low pathogenic and high pathogenic. Low path avian influenza naturally occurs in wild birds and in most cases causes no signs of infection or only mild symptoms, with little threat to humans.
The virus was first detected in in geese in China. Asian H5N1 was first detected in humans in 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. Since its widespread re-emergence inrare, sporadic human infections with this virus have been reported in Asia, and later in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Since the avian influenza A H5N1 virus had re-emerged in andafter the first report of infection in humans in during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong SAR, China, it has spread from Asia to Europe and Africa. Globally, among the 15 countries that reported human cases of avian influenza A H5N1 virus infection, 4 countries were in South-East Asia Region, i. Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand.