Backyard or free-range poultry are not fuelling the current wave of bird flu outbreaks stalking large parts of the world. The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is essentially a problem of industrial poultry practices. Its epicentre is the factory farms of China and Southeast Asia and -- while wild birds can carry the disease, at least for short distances -- its main vector is the highly self-regulated transnational poultry industry, which sends the products and waste of its farms around the world through a multitude of channels.
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Vietnam is the country worst affected by bird flu, with 42 deaths and 93 cases. Most of the deaths were recorded between late and mid Nearly 50 million poultry have been culled in attempts to limit the spread of the disease.
The death of a man in Thailand raised the avian flu death toll to 61, causing health officials across the world to look more closely at plans to prevent a pandemic. Following a background report, experts discuss the bird flu threat, the possibility of transmission between humans and the chances of the virus spreading. The sense of urgency is such that culling took place overnight in part of northern Thailand.
Pandemic influenza occurs approximately three or four times every century. It usually occurs when a novel influenza A virus emerges that can easily be transmitted from person-to-person, to which humans have little or no immunity. Infection control and social distancing practices can help slow down the spread of the virus.
Various strains of this virus, which occur naturally in wild birds, have killed hundreds of people in the Asia-Pacific region over the last few decades. Experts say the risk of humans becoming infected by the strain circulating in U. Moreover, future strains of the virus could seriously threaten public health.
January As avian flu kills a growing number of people and outbreaks of the virus are reported in birds from China to Turkey, public health officials fear a new global influenza pandemic could already be brewing. Mindful of the deadly flu epidemic—which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide—vaccine manufacturers are racing to develop a preventive vaccine as countries scramble to stockpile existing flu vaccines. What we do know is that the current virus bears some resemblance to the strain, which attacked alarmingly large numbers of healthy young adults.
Avian influenza threatens public health worldwide because it is usually associated with severe illness and, consequently, a higher risk of death. During the first months ofTurkey experienced its first human avian influenza epidemic. A total of 21 human cases were identified, 12 of which were confirmed by the National Institute for Medical Research. Nine of the cases, including the four fatal ones, were from the Dogubeyazit-Van region.
By Debora MacKenzie. The H5N8 virus has spread into Europe and is killing wild birds as well as invading poultry farms — a major worry for farmers in the run-up to the festive season. The current strain is descended from the H5N1 virus, which started killing poultry in China inand then people too.
Worldwide, people have been infected with H5N1 avian influenza, largely through exposure to sick birds; of these, more than half have died. Although only limited human-to-human transmission has been confirmed, scientists fear a worldwide pandemic could erupt if the virus mutates to a highly pathogenic form that humans can efficiently pass among themselve. Now scientists are finding faster, cheaper ways to produce more of the only drug proven capable of combating avian flu. Tamiflu oseltamivir phosphate reduces flu mortality by inhibiting the virus from spreading among cells.