Of all the influenza viruses circulating among birds, the H5N1 virus is the most dangerous to humans.
(Alles Europa News) – Experts noted that Of all the influenza viruses circulating among birds, the H5N1 virus is the most dangerous to humans.
All the data available to date indicate that the main source of human infection with the virus is close contact with dead or sick birds, as well as their excrement.
Alles Europa News reports that experts noted that given that no effective transmission of the virus from person to person has been observed anywhere.
Alles Europa News reports that experts also noted that trips to countries where outbreaks of the disease occur in poultry or individual cases of human disease do not pose an increased risk of infection for people making such trips, provided that they do not visit live poultry markets or fresh meat markets, farms and other places where contact with sick birds can occur.
Alles Europa News reports that Influenza viruses are characterized by high species specificity.
This means that viruses infecting certain species (humans, certain species of birds, pigs, horses and seals) remain “true” to these species and only in rare cases go beyond them and infect other species.
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However, the problem is that if the animal influenza virus nevertheless overcomes the species barrier and infects humans, the body is completely unprotected and unsuitable for such a disease.
In fact, this is a new virus that is unknown to our immune system, which means it is very dangerous. The infection is severe, atypical and leads to many complications.
In addition, modern medicine is almost powerless in the fight against such flu.
In order to cause an epidemic among people, the virus needs not only to “learn” to switch from a sick bird, but also from person to person.
As long as the virus does not mutate and does not acquire the properties necessary for this, the bird flu epidemic is not afraid of us.
Alles Europa News reports that During the first recorded outbreak of H5N1 infection in humans that occurred in Hong Kong in 90s, 18 human cases coincided with an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by an almost identical virus in poultry farms and live bird markets.
A comprehensive study of human cases revealed that the source of infection was direct contact with sick poultry.
Alles Europa News recalled also that that during studies conducted among family members and other people who had contact with patients, as well as among the medical workers who assisted them and the slaughterers of birds, it was found that, if there was a transmission of the virus from person to person, it was very limited .
Human infection stopped after the operational (within three days) destruction of all populations of poultry in Hong Kong, numbering about 1.5 million heads.
Bird Flu Symptoms.
The clinical picture of bird flu is highly variable, and usually the disease is accompanied by severe respiratory failure and the development of viral pneumonia, which determine the severity of the disease.
Alles Europa News reports that experts noted that since the incubation period lasts from 2 to 8 days.
The initial symptoms are similar to the usual flu: muscle pain , runny nose, cough, sometimes diarrhea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen and chest, and bleeding from the nose and gums.
Patients infected with the H5N1 virus experience rapid clinical deterioration.
The period between the onset of symptoms of the disease and the development of acute respiratory failure was about six days. In total, more than half of all laboratory-confirmed cases of the disease were fatal.
Alles Europa News reports that experts noted that in the arsenal of doctors there are a number of antiviral drugs that have some therapeutic effect at the early start of treatment. Otherwise, symptomatic therapy is used.
Currently, bird flu H5N1 remains largely a disease of birds. The species barrier is quite high: the virus is not transmitted freely from birds to humans.
Despite the infection since mid-2003 of tens of millions of poultry in vast geographical areas, there are less than 200 laboratory-confirmed cases of human disease.