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H10N3 bird flu

Context:

China has confirmed the first instance of human infection from H10N3, a rare strain of a virus that normally infects poultry.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-II: Social Justice (Health Related Issues), GS-III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About H10N3
  2. About Bird Flu

About H10N3

  • H10N3 is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which is commonly known as the bird flu virus.
  • It is a low pathogenic, or relatively less severe, strain of the virus in poultry and the risk of it spreading on a large scale is very low.
  • Among animals, it can spread through respiratory droplets, similar to flu and Covid-19.
  • The strain is not a very common virus, only about 160 isolates of the virus have been reported in the past 40 years (till 2018), that too, mostly in wild birds or waterfowl in Asia and some parts of North America.
  • There are many different strains of avian influenza in China and some sporadically infect people, generally those working with poultry.

About Bird Flu

  • Bird flu, also known as Avian influenza (AI), is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.) as well as pet birds and wild birds.
  • Occasionally mammals, including humans, may contract avian influenza.
  • Avian Influenza outbreaks can lead to devastating consequences for the country, particularly the poultry industry.
  • Farmers might experience a high level of mortality in their flocks, with rates often around 50%.
  • Strict biosecurity measures and good hygiene are essential in protecting against disease outbreaks.
  • If the infection is detected in animals, a policy of culling infected and contact animals is normally used in an effort to rapidly contain, control and eradicate the disease.

-Source: The Hindu

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October 2022
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