Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, India has reported an outbreak of another virus known as the Avian Influenza, commonly known as the bird flu.
Death of the migratory water birds rose to almost a number of 2,401 due to the Avian Influenza, almost half of them being the bar-headed goose an endangered species, visiting Pong Wetlands in Himachal Pradesh.
Kerala government stated the same day that around 12,000 ducks have died in the last few days, where there is a possibility of another 36,000 to be dead, according to the minister K Raju.
Now the important question is, what is Avian Flu? Is there a possibility that it can be transmitted to humans? Here’s everything you need to know:
It surely is a Type A virus and is caused by an infection with a bird (avian) and it is a flu (influenza). As explained by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the possibility of its occurrence is naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide, and can even infect domestic birds and other animals.
Some states in India reported the effects of the virus and they are Rajasthan, Kerala, and Himachal Pradesh, whereas states like Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Punjab have signaled high alert.
In trying to find out what is an avian virus? The question of whether humans can be infected is also a concerning one. The avian flu viruses “do not normally infect human beings,” according to the CDC. The MayoClinic Website stated that such infections are rare, further adding that only infrequent cases have been identified since 2015.
Does this ‘Avian Flu’ spread from person to person?
In previous records of bird flu infections, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is possible that bird flu can be transmitted from one to another, but this is rare. The WHO confirmed a total of 861 human cases of H5N1 from 2004 to 2019 across the world, and out of that the recorded number of deaths was 455.
The symptoms of this bird flu include; cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, shortness of breath, some of which are also present in the novel coronavirus.
Now as it was believed with the COVID-19, the heat doesn’t destroy the Avian Viruses. Therefore cooking poultry isn’t a health threat, if the plan is to buy chicken, making sure that the meat is handled well with clean hands and maintained cleanliness while cooking it as well.
By now we have the answer to what is an avian Flu? But is this avian influenza a cause of concern?
There have been reports of wild birds dying in according to the Bird Count India, of wild birds dying at various incidents in different parts of the country. According to the IANS, at present no one can be certain whether this a cause of a larger concern, but it is important to keep an eye on if the situation worsens.