ARE WE PREPARED FOR INFLUENZA PANDEMIC?

Authors

  • Ahmed Badar

Abstract

The United Nations has been warning about a bird flupandemic for about one year now. These warningswere merely ‘suggestions’ a few months back, butrecently with the mutation reports of the virus thesewarnings have also ‘mutated’ to ‘alarms’. Thesealarms have led to panic stockpiling of antiviral drugsby affluent countries, United Nations and blackmarketers.The World Health Organization (WHO) hasreported an outbreak of Avian Influenza in birds inseveral countries in Asia.1,2 Avian influenza is acontagious viral infection with a potential to affect allspecies of birds, and rare transfer to humans. Avianinfluenza virus has 15 known types that infect wildbird populations (mainly water birds). In wild birdsthis infection is without symptoms, therefore theinfected birds carry on with their normal life. Thebird feces and contaminated water or dust spreadsavian influenza to domestic ducks and to the otherpoultry. In domestic birds the disease is severe. Thisvery contagious virus then spreads rapidly in poultryflocks killing whole population of domestic birds insome areas.

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