The worst avian flu epidemic in recent years has swept the United States, killing more than 24 million birds. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the H5N1 virus has killed commercial and domestic birds in 29 states, and about 250 epidemics have been reported.
U.S. consumers felt the flu in the form of eggs, which doubled in price in March. But on Thursday, the CDC said it was the first case of the current predominant bird flu virus in the United States. In Colorado, a prisoner contracted the flu while working on a poultry farm.
However, public health officials say the risk of infection is low for the general public.
Economic Impact of Avian Influenza: The worst bird flu in recent years has pushed up the price of eggs, preventing people from becoming infected.
What is avian influenza?
Avian influenza, also known as avian influenza, is a disease of the avian influenza virus.
The predominant virus strain currently in circulation is called H5N1. It is highly contagious among birds, spreading the virus in saliva, feces and nasal secretions. The virus occurs in wild birds, but can spread to domesticated birds and cause a rapid, mass epidemic.
Avian influenza viruses are divided into two groups: low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
According to the CDC, LPAI viruses do not cause disease easily or at all, while HPAI causes severe disease and high mortality in infected birds.
Symptoms of bird flu in humans
If possible, viral infections of avian influenza are rare. The human infection in Colorado is the second confirmed infection of the current epidemic in the world.
The first confirmed infection was reported in December in the UK in a man with ducks at home. I showed no symptoms.
In Colorado, an infected person showed mild signs of fatigue and was given antiviral medication to treat it. In China, officials have confirmed that a 4-year-old boy contracted a different strain of H3N8 after a fever. Chinese health officials say his close ties have been tested negative and there is little risk of the strain spreading.
Symptoms of avian influenza have been reported to be similar to those of seasonal influenza.
Symptoms may include cough, sore throat, headache and muscle aches, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Severe infections can lead to pneumonia, which requires hospitalization. Sometimes the infection can cause a fever. Less common symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization said 863 cases of the H5N1 virus had been reported in 18 countries since 2003, killing 455 people.
But now the circulating H5N1 virus is different from previous versions, says the CDC and the risk of bird flu to the population is still low.
Human-to-human transmission is rare.
“Although people have been infected with the bird flu virus, it is rarely transmitted from one infected person to another,” the CDC said in a statement.
Most infected people become ill after “close, prolonged and unprotected contact with infected birds.”
Prevention of avian influenza
The best way to prevent bird flu is to avoid prolonged contact with birds. For those who work closely with birds, hunt, or raise birds, the CDC recommends additional precautions, such as gloves, masks, and eye protection.
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This article was originally published on USA TODAY: What is Avian Influenza and What Are the Symptoms of Avian Influenza? Here’s what you need to know.