ARE WE PREPARED FOR INFLUENZA PANDEMIC?

Ahmed Badar

Abstract


The United Nations has been warning about a bird flu
pandemic for about one year now. These warnings
were merely ‘suggestions’ a few months back, but
recently with the mutation reports of the virus these
warnings have also ‘mutated’ to ‘alarms’. These
alarms have led to panic stockpiling of antiviral drugs
by affluent countries, United Nations and black
marketers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has
reported an outbreak of Avian Influenza in birds in
several countries in Asia.1,2 Avian influenza is a
contagious viral infection with a potential to affect all
species of birds, and rare transfer to humans. Avian
influenza virus has 15 known types that infect wild
bird populations (mainly water birds). In wild birds
this infection is without symptoms, therefore the
infected birds carry on with their normal life. The
bird feces and contaminated water or dust spreads
avian influenza to domestic ducks and to the other
poultry. In domestic birds the disease is severe. This
very contagious virus then spreads rapidly in poultry
flocks killing whole population of domestic birds in
some areas.

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