Where did the bird flu come from?
It was first discovered by Italian veterinarian Perroncito in 1878. He called it chicken flu, and subsequently this disease was dubbed a chicken plague because of its high prevalence. The scientist concluded that the disease is a viral nature. The virus is called Influenza virus A, and it belongs to the influenza viruses, because it has a similar structure, as well as an antigenic kit. Then the Italian did not yet know how dangerous this virus is and how many people it will be able to hit.
More on Avian Influenza Viruses
When doctors invented the vaccine against avian influenza, they included 16 different types of hemagglutinin, which is designated by the letter H, as well as 9 different types of neuraminidase, which are denoted by the letter N in the formula of this virus.
In total, the combinations of avian influenza are as many as 144, because it is divided into subtypes. The most dangerous types of viruses for birds are H7 and H5. The virus is very susceptible to the external environment and perishes if the surface is treated with a bactericidal solution, even in small amounts. But in a cool environment, the virus lives longer.
Where does the influenza virus come from?
It is found inside birds, most often wild and predominantly ducks. At them to this type of a virus the proof immunity. But if they infect the virus of domestic ducks or chickens, they die very quickly.
Among the most common combinations of the avian influenza virus is A / H5N1. According to the forecasts of medical experts, it is this virus that can cause a pandemic all over the globe. The strain is very virulent, that is, it can spread very widely. If a person comes into contact with a sick bird or her meat, he is able to catch bird flu. Especially dangerous strain of this flu in combination with others - human and pork, then the strain of influenza changes and acquires special treachery.
More on the bird flu virus
For the first time, cases of the incidence of avian influenza in the public became known in 1997 in Hong Kong. Then the number of deaths reached more than 60%. Those people, whose manifestations of the disease were weak, did not go to the doctors, otherwise the percentage of those who died would be even higher. The most vulnerable region of the spread of avian influenza was South-East Asia.
Compared to conventional influenza, the incidence of avian influenza is certainly much lower, but the mutation of this virus causes serious concern among scientists. His possible pandemic is compared with the infamous "Spaniard", which troubled the whole world in 1918-1919. Then because of this virus, up to 100 million people died.
There are speculations of scientists that avian influenza can cause a new pandemic, which can be the culprit of more than 150 million deaths throughout the planet. Therefore, vaccination against regular influenza once a year is a logical defense against bird flu, since a specific vaccine has not been invented yet.