Bird Flu outbreak in India

The Bird Flu in India has been reported in wild Geese in Himachal Pradesh, ducks in Kerala, crows in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Also, in Haryana more than one lakh poultry birds have died mysteriously in the last few days. The Kerala Government recently declared Avian Influenza as State Disaster. In Kerala more than 1,700 ducks have died due to flu.

How severe is the Bird Flu in India?

  • Kerala Government has started culling of ducks and chicken.
  • The Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Government have stepped up surveillance and formed guidelines.
  • In Madhya Pradesh more than 155 crows died of H5N8 strain.
  • Migrant birds died in Pong Dam Lake Sanctuary due to H5N8 infections.
  • In Rajasthan, birds in Kota and Baran were found dead with the infection.

What is Avian Influenza or Bird Flu?

It is a contagious viral disease caused by Influenza Type A virus. It usually affects poultry birds such as Turkeys and Chickens. There are several types of Influenza Type A virus. Some of the virus may cause low egg production and others result in early cracking of egg shells.

When did the Bird Flu start infecting humans?

The humans were first known to have contracted with bird flu in 1997. The H5N1 strain was the first Influenza virus to infect humans. It occurred following an outbreak in a live bird market in Hong Kong.

According to the World Health Organization, the H5N1 does not spread from person to person. Also, according to WHO, there are no evidences that the virus can spread through properly cooked poultry. The virus is highly sensitive to heat and dies in cooking temperature.

Why is the Bird Flu outbreak creating havoc in the country?

The H5N1 is deadly. Around six out of ten bird flu cases have led to deaths in humans. The virus if mutated becomes easily transferable from person to person by altering its shape to grab human cells. This might result in a pandemic. Thus, the bird flu is currently creating a havoc in the country. The pandemic and seasonal flu have jumped from birds to humans through mutation.

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