BIRD FLU - Avian influenza - A widely spread viral rare diseases

Avian influenza (AI) or Bird Flu is a viral disease that primarily effects fowl such as chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, ducks, and other avian species. Fowl plague has been described as early as 1878 as a disease of chickens in Italy. In 1955 it was determined that it was one of the influenza viruses.

There are three types of influenza, A, B and C. Only type A infects animals and only type A can cause a panepidemic. To date, all outbreaks of the highly pathogenic form have been from the H5N1 subtype.

The flu is transmitted from bird to bird by direct contact with the discharge from infected birds, contaminated feed, water, cages, equipment, vehicles and clothing. Eggs from infected hens can break and contaminate incubators.

Humans become infected after direct or indirect contact with infected wild ducks and chickens through infected aerosols, discharges and surfaces. There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

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