To understand how the transmission of the bird flu, also know as avian influenza, you must understand what it is first. The Avian influenza has been circulating, believe it or not for over the past hundred years. It is caused by influenza type A,the most common and scariest. It is the scariest type because it has been known to cause the most epidemics in history. Although there are two other types of influenza( B and C)they are less severe than A. Influenza B can also cause epidemics but the outbreak of the disease is more milder than type A influenza.Last but not least type C influenza never has been linked to epidemics and generally just causes mild symptoms of a cold.
The Avian influenza is originally found in the digestive and respiratory tracts of wild fowl and shorebirds. Shorebirds are more likely to carry it since they are considered the reservoirs for the virus.They transmit the virus by shedding it in their fecal matter.Thus it only affects susceptible birds through the inhalation of the bird flu particles in nasal and respiratory secretions. It can also be transmitted through contact of the feces of a infected bird.The only cases that humans have been infected with this virus is from basic everyday contact with the chickens.It does not mean all chickens have avian influenza, more or less its the free range chickens that are allow to roam the pasture where wild fowl might have been contaminated with the virus.
The other concern is if it mutates how can it be transmitted to humans? Well thats a simple question as I said before the virus is transmitted to wild fowl then onto free range chickens, well if it were to mutate again to a HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) it would then be transmissible to swine. Once Swine are infected with the virus, if it finds yet another way to mutate it will then be most transmissible to humans.There is no vaccine either for the avian influenza. This is because it keeps mutating within the months they find a possible vaccine the virus has mutated yet once again. People often wonder to if they can get avian influenza virus from eggs and chicken, right now no but just to be on the safe side of things its better to throughly cook poultry products.
Some biosecurity measures poultry farmers can take to reduce their chances of their chickens getting the avian influenza are don’t render disease contaminated chickens. Rendering can spread the virus such as if you use the same truck to get your feed, your potentially contaminating the food. There are better ways to dispose of your dead chickens such as burial, composting, or you can simply incinerate them. Another way to prevent avian influenza from entering your poultry farm would be to simply maintain safe management practices such as cleaning, disinfecting, watching out for wild fowl, make sure to take biosecurity measures and don’t keep chickens older than 10 weeks on your farm. As with humans, when we age we are more susceptible to disease and the same goes for chickens.Another thing farmers can do is simply look out for the signs of the avian influenza virus among their chickens.The signs are coughing, sneezing, ruffled feathers, Swollen heads, nervous signs such as depression, diarrhea, decrease food intake, decreased egg production. Although sometimes they die rapidly without showing any clinical signs.