Bird flu: symptom, transmission, prevention and control

After the corona pandemic bird flu is on high alert in India. This article provides you the best information regarding the bird flu, how it spread, what are the symptoms in the birds, what prevention we should have to take care of, and many more things regarding bird flu. You have to just keep reading to know more.

Bird flu: symptom, transmission, prevention and control

While coronavirus cases continue to soar across the world, we have another recent worry – the emergence of bird flu. After many states in India reported the death of birds, mostly non-domesticated, Bird flu or avian flu was confirmed in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Himachal. High alerts have also been sounded in Maharashtra. Several states, which have been reporting the death of birds, including crows and migratory species, are scrambling to have samples tested for the virus.

Similar incidents were reported in countries like Japan, China, South Korea, the Netherlands, the U.K, Belgium, Denmark, and many more countries. The sudden drop in demand in demand and price is compounding the losses of millions of small poultry farmers in an industry that only recently started to recover from the Covid-outbreak that hugely impacted sales during 2020.

The last time avian influenza hit India in 2006 it seriously disrupted the functioning of the poultry industry. The government intervened, first confirming the presence of the bird flu and then destroying numerous birds to control the spread of the virus.

So here we will talk about everything about the bird flu. We will discuss whether this disease can spread from birds to humans and whether you should stop eating poultry right now or not?


What is Bird flu?

Bird flu, a disease of birds, is caused by a virus known as Avian Influenza Type
a virus. This is an illness that usually only affects birds. There are many different strains of the bird flu virus, but the most seen and the most deadly virus is called influenza A or H5N1 virus. This virus could affect several kinds of birds, for example, wild birds, turkeys, quails, chickens, and ducks.

How does it spread?

Bird flu is a contagious disease, which means that it spreads from
diseased or reservoir birds to healthy birds. A virus is shed in the saliva, nasal discharges, and feces of infected birds. Healthy birds become sick when they come in contact with the infected/reservoir birds, their secretions and feed, water, or equipment contaminated with the virus.

What are the symptoms in birds?

If infected with the mild form of the virus, birds show respiratory problems, ruffled feathers, and reduced egg production. However, highly pathogenic types result in severe form, swelling of wattles and combs, coughing and nervous signs and

Can it be transmissible to humans?

 Rarely is it transmitted from birds to humans? However, the persons working in close contact with birds could be at risk.

How to prevent the introduction and spread of this virus? 

Farm-to-farm transmission is usually through the movement of live birds, people, contaminated vehicles, and equipment.

What measures need to be practiced for the prevention and control of bird flu?

Entry of persons or vehicles into the poultry farm should be regulated.
Farmers should inform the local veterinarian, in case he/she comes across the death of wild or migratory birds in the vicinity of the farm.
Don’t handle dead birds with bare hands and dispose of the dead birds cautiously under the guidance of local veterinarians, either by burning or burying them in a pit covered with suitable disinfection in a pit.
While disposing, wear mask, gloves and safety goggles. If gloves are not available, use an inverted polythene bag and wash your hands after the disposal.
Cover the pit area with the fence or spray kerosene oil on pit to avoid the access of stray dogs.
Water supply tanks of the farms should be covered properly in order to avoid the
contamination with feces/saliva of wild or migratory birds.
Avoid activities, which attract wild birds. Trees on the farm or near its boundary should be
Maintain sanitation of poultry houses and equipment.
Consumers should take care of their personnel and hand hygiene.
Thoroughly cook poultry and poultry products (including eggs) before consumption.
Proper cooking (>700C) kills influenza viruses.


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