|The World Health Organization
(WHO) has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian
influenza in birds affecting a number of countries in Asia.
Avian influenza is a contagious viral infection that ca affect
all species of birds, and can cause disease in humans on rare
Avian influenza viruses (of which there are 15 Types) infect
wild bird populations, particularly water birds, typically with
out causing symptoms. The virus spreads through bird faeces and
contaminated water or dust, When avian influenza spreads to
poultry or other birds, it can cause more severe disease.
Outbreaks of avian influenza have been recognized in poultry
flocks in most countries of the world for many years.
There are several types of avian influenza. the strains that
cause the greatest number of deaths are called highly pathogenic
avian influenza (H5N1). This virus was found to cause disease in
people exposed to infected birds. Fortunately, the virus was not
able to spread from person to person.
The strain of H5N1 that was has now emerged in many Asian
countries. Millions of poultry have been slaughtered. A number
of human cases and deaths have been confirmed in people who had
close contact with chickens, with no evidence of effective
human-to-human spread of infection. The Diseases Control Section
- Public Health Directorate is closely monitoring the avian