Should We Worry About The Bird Flu In India?

Should We Worry About The Bird Flu In India?

As cases of poultry deaths were reported as increasing in 4 states in India, social media has been rife with an increased hype about the dangers of the bird flu. Let’s see if it can be deadly for us, its origins, and the measures being taken to control this flu.

Crux of the Matter

Whom Can It Infect?
Avian influenza or Bird Flu is a viral infection that can infect wild birds and domestic poultry. It is a rare occurrence but it can subsequently infect humans, wherein it passes from one person to another. H5N1 is its most common form.

Whom Can It Affect?
Avian or Bird Flu, is a viral infection that can infect wild birds, domestic poultry, and even though it’s rare, humans too.

What Can Be The Mortality Rate?
60% for H5N1 i.e 6 out of 10 deaths in humans. Moreover, flu viruses are prone to mutation as they have a segmented genome and can eventually cause a pandemic.

More Ways Of Transmission

  • Direct Contact: Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after direct contact with infected poultry can transmit the virus (most common).
  • Contaminated Surfaces: Infection can occur without touching poultry. Touching your eyes, nose, and mouth after touching contaminated surfaces can also transmit the disease.
  • Healthy looking birds can still spread bird flu.

What Is Culling?
It is the reduction of an animal population by selective slaughter. Eg: In Tasmania and South Australia, Cape Barren geese are ‘culled’ to limit damage to crops.

There is nothing to worry. All possible help is being given and states have been alerted. Cook the meat and eggs completely before eating.

Giriraj Singh, Union minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairying

What Is The Plan Of Action?
As per a press release by Ministry of Fisheries and Animal Husbandry, directions have been given to carry out culling in sick birds, according to the Govt. 2015 National Avian Influenza Plan.

So What’s More?
For neighbouring states, the advisory recommends vigilance towards any “unusual mortality amongst birds and to report it immediately”. As for personal safety, it includes disinfecting surfaces, wearing of protective gear and use of antiviral drugs.

  • Halal is an Arabic word that translates to “permissible or lawful” into English. In the Quran, the word halal is contrasted with haram (forbidden). The term halal is particularly associated with Islamic dietary laws and especially meat processed and prepared in accordance with those requirements.
  • The most widely quoted date for the beginning of the recorded history of avian influenza was in 1878 when it was differentiated from other diseases that caused high mortality rates in birds.
  • Virulent Newcastle disease (VND) is a contagious viral avian disease affecting many domestic and wild bird species; it is transmissible to humans. Though it can infect humans, most cases are non-symptomatic; rarely it can cause a mild fever and/or conjunctivitis in humans.