Bird flu virus.
Bird flu virus, how harmful it is to humans? Is a viral infection caused by strains of the influenza A virus that primarily affect birds.To see important ads, turn off your ad blocker! Article continued below:
Most strains of bird flu do not infect humans easily, and when they do, the viruses typically cause mild to moderate illness. However, some strains of bird flu can be more harmful to humans.
The potential harm to humans depends on the specific strain of bird flu virus. The two main subtypes of bird flu that have caused human infections are H5N1 and H7N9.
Bird flu virus and H5N1.
This strain has caused the most concern in recent years. It has a high mortality rate in humans, with approximately 60% of reported cases resulting in death.
However, it is important to note that the H5N1 virus does not spread easily from birds to humans, and sustained human-to-human transmission is rare.
Bird flu virus and H7N9.
This strain emerged in China in 2013. It has caused severe illness in humans, with a relatively high mortality rate.
Most human cases have been associated with exposure to live poultry or contaminated environments. Like H5N1, H7N9 does not spread easily from person to person.
It’s worth mentioning that bird flu viruses can mutate and potentially acquire the ability to spread more easily among humans.
This is a concern because if a highly pathogenic bird flu virus gains the ability for efficient human-to-human transmission, it could lead to a widespread and severe global outbreak (pandemic).
Bird flu virus and BTN3A3
Its name is a mouthful but this gene may be the reason you’ve never contracted bird flu.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow have discovered the BTN3A3 gene in humans helps to stop the avian influenza virus from replicating inside human cells, making it more difficult for the disease to spread to other people.
The discovery could help health authorities stay one step ahead of the virus and improve efforts to monitor and control the disease.
Bird — or avian — flu regularly circulates in wild birds, which can then infect chickens and pose a risk to humans because of close contact with poultry on farms.
Nevertheless, experts consider bird flu to be a prime candidate for the next pandemic. There have been periodic flare-ups of the disease, such as the 2013 outbreak in China that killed more than 600 people.
The researchers, who published their results in the journal Nature, said that while we don’t yet understand all the mechanisms that block the spread of bird flu in humans, this gene is one piece of the puzzle.
They identified BTN3A3 after testing the effects of hundreds of different genes on avian virus replication. The researchers then found the virus replicated more easily in human cells when BTN3A3 was silenced.
Bird flu virus, calculating risk.
The discovery will help disease monitoring agencies better assess the human — and pandemic — risk of a bird flu outbreak. Certain outbreaks of avian influenza have mutations that allow the virus to sidestep the protection granted by BTN3A3.
This was the case, for example, in a recent outbreak in a mink farm in Spain, where a BTN3A3-evading mutation was detected.
Such studies are important to explain which virus lineages are more likely to cross the species barrier and infect humans; this type of information is important for risk assessments.
Precautions such as proper handling and cooking of poultry products, avoiding contact with sick or dead birds, and practicing good hygiene, including regular handwashing, can help reduce the risk of infection.
Public health organizations closely monitor bird flu outbreaks and take measures to prevent and control their spread.
All The Best!