Sunday, January 2, 2011

Human infection with avian influenza virus

Usually, avian influenza refers to influenza A (H5N1) viruses found chiefly in birds, but the infections with these viruses can occur in humans. The risk from avian influenza is generally low to most people because the viruses do not usually infect humans. However, confirmed cases of human infection from several subtypes of avian influenza infection have been reported since 1997. Most of which was as a result of having contact with infected poultry or surfaces contaminated with secretions or excretions from infected birds. Symptoms of avian influenza in human have ranged from typical human influenza-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases and other severe and life threatening complications.

Since 2003, a growing number of human H5N1 cases are reported in some countries such as Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and Nigeria lately. More than half of the people infected with H5N1 virus have died; most of which all believed to have been caused by exposure to infected poultry. Expert worldwide are concerned at how quickly the H5N1 bird flu virus strain can spread and become firmly establish in poultry. So far, World Health Organization (WHO) update revealed that over One hundred and fifty (150) million birds have died over the last two (2) years while one hundred and sixty-five (165) humans have died as at 3 rd February, 2007 out of a total of about two hundred and sixty-four (264) infected since 2003.

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