avian influenza

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Related to Birdflu: swine flu, H1N1

avian influenza

a serious viral disease of many birds, both domestic (especially chickens, ducks, and turkeys) and wild. Wild birds act as reservoirs for influenza A virus (Orthomyxovirus); in birds, these viruses are responsible for clinical pictures ranging from low-grade illness to serious outbreaks with high mortality rates; signs range from reduced egg production to a fulminant peracute clinical course; respiratory signs (sinusitis, blood-stained nasal discharge) often occur in acute infections. Historically, close contact of fowl with humans has been shown epidemiologically to foster cross-species jump (avian to human) of new influenza strains (e.g., Hong Kong 1997 [AH5N1], Hong Kong 1999 [AH9N2]). New neuroaminidase and hemagglutinin subtypes develop as a result of antigenic drift, and less commonly, antigenic shift resulting in serious human influenza epidemics, and give rise to the need for annual reformulation of flu vaccines to protect against newer active strains. Currently 15 hemagglutinin and 9 neuraminidase subtypes have been identified in reservoir species.

avian influenza

A highly contagious viral infection that can infect commercial, wild, and pet birds, including chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, parrots, and budgerigars. Of the 15 serotypes of bird flu, H5N1 is of greatest concern. The first human H5N1 cases were seen in Hong Kong in 1997, and were linked to close contact with live infected poultry or their saliva, fluids from their beaks, or their droppings, which can contaminate dust, soil, water, feed, equipment, vehicles, and clothing. Person-to-person spread is poorly documented and may not occur.

a·vi·an in·flu·en·za

(ā'vē-ăn in'flū-en'ză)
A disease of birds due to strains of influenza A virus. Although wild birds, the natural hosts, seldom become sick when infected, avian influenza viruses can cause disease in domestic poultry and, rarely, in human beings. Transmission of the virus occurs through direct contact with an infected bird. The consequences of human infection vary from conjunctivitis and respiratory symptoms to severe systemic illness and death.
Synonym(s): bird flu.

avian influenza

‘bird ‘flu’ caused by the H5N1 virus that caused epidemics in poultry in Japan, Korea, Thailand, China and Vietnam early in 2004. The virus is capable of spreading from birds to humans. By early 2005 there had been 44 known cases of H5N1 infection in humans with 32 deaths. There is serious concern that recombination with human influenza viruses may already have occurred raising the danger of human to human infection.

Newcastle,

a community in England near the location where Newcastle disease was first observed.
Newcastle disease - an influenzalike disease of birds that is transmissible to man if in contact with diseased birds. Synonym(s): avian influenza; Ranikhet disease

Patient discussion about avian influenza

Q. If the bird flu were to reach North America, how many people would it kill? How do you protect yourself & others? What can we do to protect ourselves against the Avian Flu which has officially begun to infect humans? How many will die?

A. It infected few people working with chickens, it can
T move around, so I wouldn’t worry too much. the chances of that happening is the same as a meteor hitting earth and destroying it, same as a nuclear war in the middle east that will wipe out half of humanity, same as all big disasters that can happen.
Unless it’s your job to worry about it (world health organization) – just try to live peaceful life.

More discussions about avian influenza
References in periodicals archive ?
Health experts emphasised that those who come in contact with infected birds are most at risk of contracting birdflu.