What is H5N2 bird flu?

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   June 7, 2024   Update on : June 7, 2024

H5N2 bird flu, Bird flu virus, Bird flu virus 2024, Bird flu cats
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H5N2 is a subtype of the Influenza virus that infects various birds, including chickens, ducks, turkeys, falcons, and ostriches. Avian influenza viral subtypes generally cause mild bird disease, which often do not appear sick.

However, some variants of H5N2 are much more pathogenic, leading to the culling of birds in poultry farms during outbreaks of “high-path” H5N2.

The virus can infect people who work with birds, but researchers have not found evidence of human-to-human transmission of H5N2.

A man died recently in Mexico from H5N2, which is a type of bird flu, also known as avian influenza. The strain is a novel one for human beings.

It is still unclear how the man may have contracted the virus, however, it was found in poultry in the country.

There is a fear among the scientific community that changes in the virus could make it highly transmissible to humans. Although, currently there is a minimal threat of a bird flu outbreak on a large scale in Mexico.

The victim had a series of health complications and there are no concrete signs till now that the infection spread to others. Despite separate invasions of the bird flu into neighbouring regions, officials cannot establish their connection.

This H5N2 variant contrasts with the other avian influenza strain-H5N1, which affected Americans recently.

Among them are viruses such as H5N2 which impact animals and sometimes trespasses into humans. It is necessary to keep vigilance on such viruses because they can evolve and become potentially more fatal to humans.

What is Avian Influenza A or H5N2?

Animal influenza viruses normally circulate in animal society but sometimes can pass into and affect humans, according to the World Health Organization.

Infections in patients primarily have been acquired via direct contact with infected animals or environments that are contaminated.

Depending on the primary host, influenza A viruses can be classified as avian influenza or bird flu, swine influenza or swine flu, or other animal influenza viruses.

Bird flu virus infections in humans may induce mild to severe upper respiratory tract infections, which could also be fatal. Conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal symptoms, encephalitis, and encephalopathy were also reported, among others.

Laboratory tests are needed to diagnose infection in people with influenza. WHO periodically updates its technical guidance protocols for detecting zoonotic influenza using molecular methods, such as the RT-PCR (just as Covid-19).

As per evidence found, some antiviral drugs, notably neuraminidase inhibitors such as oseltamivir and zanamivir, can help reduce the duration of viral replication and increase survival rates for some cases.


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