H5N1 Virus; How It Was Spotted:
The health authorities have informed about a tragic incident which happened in the country Combodia. The incident involved an eleven-year-old girl who lived in the rural area of Prey Veng province. The girl died from a bird flu making the case country’s first known human case of bird flu in nine years. The girl had fallen ill a week earlier with a high fever, cough, and sore throat. It was then that she was diagnosed with H5N1 virus.
The health ministry also tested her father who as well was diagnosed with the same disease. The ministry also tested 11 other people as a precautionary measure. When the health minister was interviewed, he informed that the case was the first known human infection of the H5N1 strain in the nation since 2014.
After the news of her infection was received, the girl was taken directly to her village where she was right away taken to the children’s hospital. The hospital was located in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Unfortunately, her condition deteriorated, and she left for her heavenly abode shortly after she reached the hospital.
Right after the news was spread across the country, the health officials went on to alert the country’s residents about the flu. They warned them against touching or coming in contact with any dead or sick birds. It was also noticed that the last recorded bird flu of Cambodia was back in 2014 when 56 human cases of H5N1 infection were reported and recorded. Out of these cases in the previous decade, 37 were fatal, which was a very high percentage.
As humans do not have the receptors in their throats, noses, and upper respiratory tracts that are susceptible to the current virus strain, human cases of bird flu are rare. However, people who work with infected poultry are at higher risk of being infected. Since 2021, WHO has recorded eight cases of human H5N1 infections in China, India, Spain, the UK, and the US.
Sadly, a new, highly contagious strain of the virus is currently infecting birds around the world. This recent bird flu outbreak has been circulating the globe since October 2021. The World Organization for Animal Health recently informed the BBC that it had recorded almost 42 million individual cases in domestic and wild birds. Almost 15 million domestic birds, including poultry, have died from the disease, and more than 193 million more have been culled according to local sources.
In addition, the strain had also infected mammals such as minks and otters. The World Health Organization had previously stated that the virus will “need to be monitored closely” to see if it is mutating into a form that can spread among humans.
This tragedy highlights the seriousness of H5N1 bird flu and the need for greater awareness and preparedness to prevent its spread. The virus is highly contagious among birds, and it can easily spread to humans who come into close contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces. The disease is also challenging to diagnose and treat, making it all the more dangerous.
Efforts to control the spread of H5N1 bird flu are ongoing, and a range of measures have been put in place to prevent its transmission. These include the culling of infected birds, the use of protective gear by those in contact with infected animals, and increased surveillance and monitoring of bird populations. Vaccines have also been developed to protect against the virus, although their availability is often limited in many parts of the world.
However, much work remains to be done to combat H5N1 bird flu effectively. This includes greater investment in research to develop new treatments and vaccines as well as increased awareness and education campaigns to inform people about the risks associated with the virus and how to prevent its spread.