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Avian Influenza Infection: Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Causes and Symptoms

Image for representational purpose.

Image for representational purpose.

People who work closely with birds are at a high risk of contracting the disease.

The Avian influenza, which is caused by the H5N1 virus, is on the rise in the country. As reported earlier, over 400 birds have lost their lives in Rajasthan alone due to this virus. Till now, a total of four states including Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh have been severely affected by the Avian influenza.

Avian Influenza: Transmission

This type of influenza primarily affects the birds but can also be transmitted to human beings. The most common way in which people contract this virus is by making a direct contact with an infected bird. Further, this disease can be passed on from one person to another. Transmission of this disease is primarily through airborne respiratory droplets. Any person suffering from Avian influenza must ensure that they seclude themselves from others so that they do not pass on the virus to other people.

Avian Influenza: Symptoms

Some of the initial symptoms of Avian influenza include cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and shortness of breath. These symptoms can make a person believe that he or she is suffering from a normal flu as they last between two to eight days.

Avian Influenza: Vulnerable Groups

People who work closely with birds are at a high risk of contracting the disease. The people who fall in this category are poultry farm workers, animal control workers, wildlife biologists, ornithologists etc. It is advised that the people who work in these sectors cover their hands, nose and mouth while dealing with birds as these parts are the most common ways in which they can contract the virus.

Avian Influenza: Treatment

Consumption of antiviral drugs within two days of showing symptoms of Avian Influenza may bring relief to the affected person.

Approximately 1800 migratory birds in Himachal Pradesh were found dead. Most of these birds have been reported to be bar-headed geese. The deceased birds were found in the Pong Dam Lake sanctuary. Apart from that, around 1500 ducks in Kottayam, Kerala were found dead due to the Avian influenza.


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