• Central teams have been deployed to visit the affected states of Kerala, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for monitoring and for epidemiological investigation.
• Bird flu, also called avian influenza, is a viral disease which is contagious and can spread from one bird to other birds and animals.
• Migratory birds have been assumed to be largely responsible for long-distance transmission of the virus into India.
• It also spreads through local movement of residential birds and poultry.
• It is caused by Influenza Type A viruses which generally affects poultry birds such as chickens and turkeys. Aquatic birds are primary natural reservoir for most subtypes of influenza A viruses.
• Depending on the origin host, influenza A viruses can be classified as avian influenza (H5N1, H9N2 etc.), swine influenza (H1N1 and H3N2), or other types of animal influenza viruses.
• Influenza type A viruses are classified into subtypes according to the combinations of different virus surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA).
• For example, a virus that has an HA 7 protein and NA 9 protein is designated as subtype H7N9.
• Human infections are primarily acquired through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments.
Mains Paper 2: Health
Prelims level: Avian Influenza
Mains level: Read the newsfeed