Pathogenic Avian Flu
When it was discovered in birds in 1878, the avian flu was born. The illness, known as the “fowl plague” at the time, caused a high avian mortality rate. The pathogenic avian flu (HPAI) caused by the H5N1 virus lives in chickens (Bi et al., 2015). The virus is still spreading and poses a threat to both humans and animals. The HPAI H5N1 virus, thought to be the most dangerous pandemic strain of the illness, gave rise to the pandemic flu virus. Although birds are the virus’s main hosts, there are alternative ways for birds to transmit the virus to humans.
Even though the avian flu first appeared in birds, it can spread to other hosts and impact them. It is important to note that viruses adapted to birds are the main culprits of the illness. Since other strains have evolved throughout time, pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is the form of flu that poses the most significant risk. The virus was initially spread zoonotically between birds, but it eventually mutated into novel strains that could be spread between animals and humans. As a result of the virus’s high susceptibility among humans, the transmission of the virus from birds to humans had devastating effects (Lai et al., 2016). The virus successfully replicates in dead people, albeit there may be issues with transmission from one person to another. Research on the interspecies transmission of influenza viruses, especially avian influenza, still needs to be completed.
The new H5N9 virus may become the next global pandemic, while concrete proof is still missing. However, H5N9 viruses pose a serious threat to human health, as shown in China, where the virus has led to severe respiratory diseases in people and negatively influenced the country’s social and economic well-being. The virus may be spread from birds to people, just as other avian flu viruses.