H5N1 bird flu Outbreak in Patna & Maharashtra

According to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), India reported an outbreak of highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus on a poultry research farm in state of Bihar. In similar incident, state administration of Maharashtra also confirmed on February 17, 2022, that poultry birds at a small farm in Thane have succumbed to H5N1.

Highlights

  • The virus killed 787 out of 3,859 birds on the farm in Patna.
  • All the remaining birds were slaughtered.
  • Outbreak started on January 18, 2022 and was reported on February 16.

What is H5N1 bird flu?

Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 is a subtype of “influenza A virus’’. It can cause illness in humans and many other animal species. A bird-adapted strain of H5N1 is the highly pathogenic causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly called as avian influenza (or bird flu). It is enzootic in many bird populations, particularly in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading across the globe, after first appearing in Asia. It is epizootic and panzootic, that kills millions of birds.

Vaccines for H5N1

Various H5N1 vaccines have been developed and approved. These vaccines are stockpiled by a number of countries, including United States, France, Britain, Canada, and Australia, for an emergency use.

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

The World Organisation for Animal Health, formerly called as Office International des Epizooties (OIE), is an intergovernmental organization that coordinates, supports and promotes animal disease control. Main objective of OIE is to control epizootic diseases and prevent their spread. Other objectives of OIE includes- transparency, international solidarity, scientific information, food safety, sanitary safety, promotion of Veterinary Services, and animal welfare. It is recognized as a reference organisation by World Trade Organization (WTO). As of 2018, it had a total of 182 member states. the newest member state is Saint Lucia.

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