Avian influenza is an infectious disease caused by a type A influenza virus transmitted from poultry to humans. There are many types of bird flu viruses, but only a few can cause infection in humans.
Bird flu has outbreaks in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, as well as parts of Europe, and caused deaths in some sufferers. According to world health organization (WHO) data, the H5N1 bird flu virus has infected 861 people worldwide and caused 455 deaths by 2019.
Avian influenza Caused By
Bird flu is caused by a type A influenza virus infection originating from birds. Most types of bird flu virus can only attack and be contagious in poultry, both wild poultry and farm poultry, such as chickens, ducks, geese, and birds. However, there are several types of bird flu viruses that can infect humans, namely H5N1, H5N6, H5N8, and H7N9.
Bird flu viruses can infect humans in the event of direct contact with poultry infected with this virus. Some conditions that can increase the risk of being infected with bird flu virus are:
- Touching infected poultry, whether alive or dead
- Touching feces, saliva, and mucus, from infected poultry
- Inhale a splash of respiratory fluid (droplet) containing the virus
- Eating raw and uncooked infected poultry meat or eggs.
Interhuman transmission is also suspected to occur, but it is not yet clear what the mechanisms and ways of transmission can be. A person is more at risk of being infected with bird flu virus if they have the following factors:
- Works as a poultry farmer
- Works as a medical team treating bird flu sufferer.
- Have family members suffering from bird flu
- Go to the area or place of bird flu infection
- Being close to infected poultry
- Frequent consumption of uncooked poultry meat or eggs.
Avian Influenza Symptoms
When a person contracted a virus caused by bird flu, he or she will experience various symptoms. Symptoms can be mild, can be severe which can potentially put lives at risk. Here are some of the symptoms of bird flu that may be experienced by the sufferer:
- Abdominal pain.
- High fever.
- Muscle pain.
- Respiratory distress.
- Bleeding gums.
- Chest pain.
Avian Influenza Diagnosis
To diagnose bird flu the doctor will perform several methods. In the early stages, the doctor will conduct medical interviews and medical examinations. After that, the doctor will also perform a supporting examination by taking a fluid sample from the nose or throat.
The criteria for diagnosis of this flu are as follows:
- The symptoms of acute respiratory tract infection within 7 days and having contact with people diagnosed with H1N1 virus.
- There are symptoms of acute respiratory tract infection within 7 days, with a history of traveling to areas that are widely infected with the H1N1 virus.
- Acute respiratory tract infections occur in a person living in a community where at least one person is shown to have the H1N1 virus.
It doesn’t close the possibility that the doctor will also have a blood test. The goal is to know the level of white blood cells in the patient’s body. In some cases, the doctor will also perform an X-ray test to see the condition of the patient’s lungs.
Avian Influenza Treatment
Bird flu can be treated by doing the following:
- Enough rest to increase endurance
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
- Take flu medications that can be purchased freely at pharmacies
H1N1 treatment generally does not require special treatment, unless flu complications arise. Two recommended antiviral drugs to cope with this type of flu are oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). However, the risk of viral resistance to the drug is increasing, so it should only be given to people at high risk.
Sufferers of young old persons and no abnormalities in their immune system do not need the drug, because the virus can be cured by itself by the immune system.
To reduce symptoms, it can also take fever-lowering drugs, cough / cold medicines, and pain killers.
Influenza a How to Treat