Avian Influenza: Cross-Species Threat and Symptoms

avian-influenza-cross-species-threat-and-symptoms

Avian influenza is a disease that primarily affects wildlife but can also be transmitted to humans. 

It is lethal to humans.

It has devastated avian populations around the world.

This article describes avian influenza, including its symptoms, detection in humans, and prevention methods. 

  • What is avian influenza?
  • Is avian influenza a significant risk?
  • What symptoms are associated with avian influenza?
  • How does one prevent avian influenza?

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Understanding Avian Influenza: Risks, Symptoms, and Preventive Measures

avian-influenza-cross-species-threat-and-symptoms
Avian influenza is a disease that primarily affects wildlife but can also be transmitted to humans.

What is avian influenza?

Avian influenza, also known as avian flu, is more prevalent in wild animals, but it can also infect domestic poultry and humans. 

Low risk exists for humans to contract avian influenza. 

It can be transmitted from birds to humans and vice versa. It spreads through the secretions, mucus, and excrement of infected animals. 

Avian influenza is uncommon in humans but prevalent in animals. 

Is avian influenza a significant risk?

The hazard posed by avian influenza to humans who contract it is severe. The symptoms can vary in severity. 

In humans, it can be fatal if it causes pneumonia. 

Those who work closely with animals are at a greater risk of contracting the disease, although the overall risk remains minimal. 

According to The National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), there have been just over 850 human cases worldwide since 2003, and 457 of those cases were fatal, giving the disease a mortality rate of 53% in humans.  

What symptoms are associated with avian influenza?

Humans infected with avian influenza typically exhibit no or minimal symptoms. 

Severe cases of influenza are characterized by symptoms such as cough, congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever, shivers, exhaustion, and runny nose. 

The diagnosis of avian influenza is made through laboratory testing. 

How does one prevent avian influenza?

By following safety procedures, you can safeguard yourself and other animals in your custody or that you work with on a daily basis.

Gloves and eye protection should be worn when handling potentially infected animals. 

Additionally, avoid touching your nostrils, mouth, and eyes after direct or indirect contact with birds.

Frequently wash your hands and change your clothing after interacting with birds. 

There are also safeguards in place to protect animals. 

Maintain a clean habitat, clean equipment, purchase birds only from reputable purveyors, limit the number of visitors who interact with the birds, avoid contact with untamed birds, and have a plan in place in case one or more birds become ill.

 

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Source: Fox News

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