The bird Influenza virus is a contagious condition to which all species of birds are exposed. It varies from milder forms to a very severe stage that usually leads to death. Some bird species are more resistant to the virus than others but the real danger of the Bird flu is the possibility of transmission to humans.
The disease is caused by more subtypes of the Influenza virus A; the different subgroups can undergo mutations and create high pathological forms of the condition. The most dangerous bird flu for man is the one caused by the virus H5N1.
The disease is transmitted in birds by infected discharges like feces or respiratory secretions, by contaminated food, water, cages, clothing or vehicles, by infected eggs in the incubatory and from clinically normal birds that will spread the virus inside the flock. The virus usually persists in survived bird tissues for about 10 days and can be transmitted by feces and oral discharge. The most infectious forms last longer time in tissues, water and cold environments.
Domestic birds will get the disease if in contact with wild birds; if they use infected water bowls or share them with infected wild birds. The virus can also be brought home in contaminated vehicles, clothing, feed, cages or shoes. Buying chicken from markets with unsanitary conditions increase the risk of bringing the viruses to your domestic birds or to your family.
The transmission to humans occurs after contact with aerosols or discharges or by direct or indirect contact with sick birds. Human can also catch the virus by inhaling infected air from marketplaces that sell living chicken or ducks or by eye or nose contact of feces from sick birds. The virus is easily inactivated by heat so the contact with encased chicken represents no threat for humans. No cases of transmission from human to human have been registered.
Bird flu is a very concerning subject as it can represent a potential cause of death in humans. The Avian Influenza is capable of genetic mutations with the result of very contagious viruses with no antidote for humans. Bird Flu causes serious epidemics in chicken and can lead to major damages to the poultry industry.
The bird flu virus causes a large spectrum of symptoms and signs in birds, rapidly leads to the apparition of epidemics and death can occur in very short notice. Chicken affected by the virus decrease the egg production, lower their activity, internal membranes hemorrhages and facial inflammation appear as well as a violet coloration of the combs and wattles. The birds gasp for air, show signs of muscle paralysis, suffer from diarrhea and usually dye suddenly.
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