Bird flu, also called avian influenza, is a viral infection that can also infect humans and other animals. Most forms of the virus are restricted to birds. H5N1 is the most common form of bird flu. It’s deadly to birds, and can easily affect humans and other animals that come in contact with a carrier.
Causes and Treatment
Although there are several types of bird flu, H5N1 was the first avian influenza virus to infect humans. The first infection occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. The outbreak was linked to handling infected poultry.
An outbreak of the H5N1 virus seriously disrupted the functioning of the poultry industry, negatively affecting the people living in the area as the poultry industry was their main source of income at the time. Soon after the presence of the virus was confirmed culling operations began. 253000 birds and 587000 eggs were destroyed within 5 days. Villagers who were exhibiting flu-like symptoms were quarantined and kept under observation.