- Origin of the disease
- The current state of the epidemic
- Measures taken to limit the epidemic
- For animals
- For humans
Avian influenza is caused by type A strains of influenza virus and is an infectious disease that affects birds. There are 15 known subtypes of avian influenza virus. Thus, there is a vast reservoir of potential influenza viruses circulating in the bird population. The virus that causes the outbreak of influenza A viruses are the H5 and H7 subtypes. The risk of contamination exists in people who are in frequent contact with infected birds. Transmission of the disease occurs by the respiratory tract (inhalation of dust from droppings or respiratory secretions), and eyes (contact dust).
[...] The takeover takes place in three main steps. Firstly, there is a friendly association with the target. The organism enters the fortress quietly by fooling the local defenses. Finally, it takes control of the communication center. The transaction must take place very quickly in order to escape the host's immune system, which has antibodies which constantly patrol the body in search of intruders. Two families of proteins play an essential role in this operation. These are hemagglutinin and neuraminidase These molecules serve as intermediaries in the process. [...]
[...] The current vaccine against seasonal flu (influenza vaccine annually) does not protect against avian flu virus, and vaccines must be adapted to the study. The most effective remedy currently available is an antiviral vaccine manufactured by Roche. It is called Tami flu and epidemiologists claim that it has the ability to reduce mortality among patients by 30%. When a new virus is released, antiviral drugs are involved to limit the spread. However the reproductive capacity of such virus is enormous and exponential. [...]