Avian influenza can spread fast:
Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, is a viral infection that initially affects birds.
Among all the types, H9N2 avian influenza virus got more attention because it can infect a large number of birds and their species and can affect humans as well.
What causes H9N2 avian influenza?
H9N2 is a subtypes of the Influenza-A virus.
The transmission of H9N2 occurs through direct contact with infected birds, or coming in contact with their environment.
The virus can persist in water and on the surface contributing to its spread within and between flocks.
A human case of H9N2 virus infection was also reported to WHO in Oct 2023 in China.
Symptoms of H9N2 virus:
H9N2 infection can be asymptomatic to severe depending upon the species of bird, age and the presence of other pathogens.
Common symptoms in birds include respiratory distress, reduced in number of eggs production. In humans, an infected person may face fever, cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.
How to prevent the spreading of H9N2 virus?
The virus widespread can be controlled by implementing the strict biosecurity measures and spread of H9N2 in poultry farms.
Regular disinfection of facilities and ensuring that personnel and equipment are free from contamination.
Monitoring bird health and conducting routine texting can help prevent the spread of the virus.
Strict hygiene is mandatory:
Practising good hygiene is essential in poultry farms.
It includes waste disposal, regular cleaning and disinfecting the area. Educating poultry farmers and the general public about the risks related to the H9N2 virus.
To avoid spreading to humans those in contact with infected animals. Wash hands regularly, disinfect their clothes and belongings and avoid direct contact with birds.
India should be prepared for the emergency:
The Union Health Ministry is already monitoring the reported break of H9N2 cases in children who are suffering from respiratory illness in Northern China. There is low risk to India from the virus as per the official statement on November 24.