Avian Flu - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Avian Flu: Avian flu is again in the spotlight as one of the popular birds on TikTok, Emmanuel the emu, has become infected with the deadly virus. In general, avian flu is a viral infection that affects birds and causes significant loss of poultry.
The news of the infection was released by the owner of the emu, Tyler Black, who is also the owner of a farm at Knuckle Bump Farm in Florida.
According to the owner, the infection was brought by wild geese, and it has caused the deaths of at least 50 birds on the farm till now.
The strain that has caused the death of farm birds where Emmanuel resides is a highly infectious strain and has been infecting both wild and poultry birds in the US since January 2022.
This viral infection has the potential for human transmission and can cause serious complications. The most recent strains that have affected the poultry are identified as H5N1 and H7N9.
Let us learn about the symptoms, causes, and possible treatment options for avian flu.
Avian Flu - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Avian Flu - Symptoms
The symptoms of avian flu, or bird flu, show up two to seven days after contracting the infection and are as follows:
- Sore Throat
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of Breath
Apart from this, some people may experience nausea and vomiting along with diarrhoea and mild eye infection ( conjunctivitis).
Avian Flu - Causes
Avian flu is a common infection of birds and is mainly affecting wild birds. It has been seen to be infecting domestic birds such as ducks, hens, turkeys, and geese.
The avian flu is caused by various strains of the Influenza A virus.
The infection can be caused when birds and eggs are sold in unsanitary conditions in the marketplaces, which also poses a risk of human transmission.
Undercooked eggs and meat from infected birds can transmit the infection to humans.
Avian Flu - Treatment
The treatment of avian flu is done through the use of antivirals such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir.
The most important thing to note is that these antivirals should be taken within two days of the symptoms appearing.
Avian Flu - Impact
There is a significant impact of avian flu on the poultry industry as mass infection causes lots of birds to be culled to stop the spread of infection.
The culling leads to loss of revenue for the poultry industry.