What's Avian Flu

What is Avian Flu?

Avian (bird) flu is a type of influenza caused by viruses found in birds. The flu is similar to those that infect dogs, pigs, and humans. The USDA recently reported avian flu 2022 deaths to be over 22.8 million. As of Q1 2022, more than 20 US states are dealing with bird flu outbreaks. 

What Causes Avian Flu?

An infection present in wild aquatic birds causes avian flu. This type ‘A’ influenza spreads from wild birds to poultry. Most poultry birds can spread the flu to other animals and humans if infected.

Unsanitary handling of sick birds usually causes bird flu infections in humans. Open-air markets of poultry is another major cause of bird flu infections.

What are Common Avian Flu Symptoms?

Avian flu shows different symptoms in animals and humans. Symptoms of bird flu in birds and humans are different.

avian flu chicken symptoms

Common avian flu chicken symptoms

The most common bird flu symptoms in chickens include:

– Swollen head

– Blue comb and wattle

– Low egg production

– Respiratory illness

– Diarrhea

Common avian flu symptoms in humans

Main symptoms of bird flu in humans are:

– Shortness of breath

– Cough

– Red eye infection

– Abdominal pain

– Seizures

– Fever

– Pneumonia

– Respiratory problems

– Sore throat

– Muscle ache

– Headache

Most symptoms of bird flu in humans become obvious at a late stage. Currently, several types of bird flu does not affect humans. However, these strains are deadly to most domestic birds.

how does avian flu spread

How Does Avian Flu Spread?

  • Bird-to-bird contact

– Avian flu quickly spreads from infected to healthy birds, even with short-term contact.

– Infected birds easily transmit avian flu across the entire flock.

  • Bird-to-human contact

– Avian influenza spreads to humans when they handle unhealthy birds. Humans could get infected with avian flu during slaughtering of infected birds.

– Avian flu also spreads from birds to humans when people get exposed to droppings of infected birds.

  • Human-to-human contact

– Long contact with a person infected with avian flu is a major spreader of the virus among humans.

  • Poultry trades

– Avian flu spreads through illegal and legal poultry trades from Asia to Europe.

– Major poultry trade routes transmit avian flu among different bird and animal species.

Avian Flu and Humans: Major Stats

  • 6 out of 10 humans infected with the H5N1 virus are likely to die.
  • Currently, H5N1 and H7N9 are the two most dangerous avian flu strains to humans. Mortality rates among people diagnosed with H5N1 is over 50, while H7N9 mortality is over 35%.
  • Four continents have recorded avian flu outbreaks among humans since 1996
Is there a vaccine for avian flu

Is There a Vaccine for Avian Flu?

Vaccines for humans

In 2007, the FDA approved a vaccine that prevents bird flu infection. Only the US government currently has access to stockpiles of this vaccine.

The CDC recommends oseltamivir and zanamivir to prevent and treat avian flu infections. Currently, no vaccine exists to protect humans against H7N9 avian flu.

Vaccines for birds

The WHO recommends QI01AA23 and QI01CL01 vaccines for treating avian flu in birds.

What are the Steps to Prevent Avian Flu Spread and Infection?

Several preventive measures are effective in containing the spread of avian flu. These steps include the following:

  • Isolate poultry from contact with wild birds. Poultry operators should protect birds from contact with outside animals.
  • Birds in slaughter channels should never return to the farm.
  • Regular disinfection of poultry transport vehicles. Poultry farms should not share transport vehicles to avoid spreading the flu.
  • People at risk of bird flu infection should use correct protective equipment
  • Proper handling of poultry during and after slaughter helps prevent avian flu infection.
  • Thorough hand washing after touching uncooked poultry birds
  • 165°F (74°C) proper heating of poultry meat and eggs for consumption 

Helpful Teaching Resources:

Other Recent Posts:

  • what is habitat conservation

What Is Habitat Conservation

Comments Off on What Is Habitat Conservation

WHAT IS HABITAT CONSERVATION? Habitat conservation means protecting the places where things on earth live.  A habitat is a place where a certain animal, plant, or other living thing lives. These places are [...]

  • sick building image

What Is Sick Building Syndrome?

Comments Off on What Is Sick Building Syndrome?

WHAT IS SICK BUILDING SYNDROME? Sick building syndrome is a term that describes a wide range of undefined symptoms that people have when they live in a building. It is mostly because of [...]

  • What Is Hydrology

What Is Hydrology?

Comments Off on What Is Hydrology?

WHAT IS HYDROLOGY? Hydrology is the study of water from a scientific standpoint. It includes the study of water's occurrence, properties, circulation, and distribution on, beneath, and above the earth's surface. Hydrologists are [...]

  • define ocean acidification

What Is Ocean Acidification?

Comments Off on What Is Ocean Acidification?

WHAT IS OCEAN ACIDIFICATION? Ocean acidification is the process by which the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus decreasing the ocean’s pH. The ocean absorbs up to one-third of the carbon [...]

  • what is the wildlife trade

What Is the Wildlife Trade?

Comments Off on What Is the Wildlife Trade?

WHAT IS THE WILDLIFE TRADE? It is called the "wildlife trade" when people trade and sell living or dead wild animals and plants. This practice has a direct effect on biodiversity and also [...]

  • Why corals are important

Why Are Coral Reefs Important?

Comments Off on Why Are Coral Reefs Important?

Why Are Coral Reefs Important? At first look, you may think you’re looking at a lump of colorful rocks. But, these are not rocks. These eye-catching figures are coral reefs! Found in oceans [...]

  • ocean dead zone

Ocean Dead Zones

Comments Off on Ocean Dead Zones

Ocean Dead Zones The ocean is an important part of our ecosystem. It produces most of the oxygen we breathe. It’s also very important for our economy, providing food for many people around [...]

  • walking outside and fitness

Walking Outside for Fitness

Comments Off on Walking Outside for Fitness

Walking outdoors is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy. In fact, walking outside has been proven to be one of the best ways to lose weight. Walking outside is a great [...]

  • What's Avian Flu

What’s Avian Flu?

Comments Off on What’s Avian Flu?

What is Avian Flu? Avian (bird) flu is a type of influenza caused by viruses found in birds. The flu is similar to those that infect dogs, pigs, and humans. The USDA recently [...]

  • what is carbon absorption

What is Carbon Absorption

Comments Off on What is Carbon Absorption

What is Carbon Absorption? The capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere is carbon absorption or sequestration. Geologic and biologic absorption are two major types of CO2 sequestration. [...]

Have a Topic Suggestion ? We are Open to New Ideas!