H7N4 bird flu confirmed in China
What you need to know about bird flu
What is it ?
- H7N4 is a subtype of influenza A virus, which is commonly referred to as bird flu.
- It commonly causes influenza in birds and other mammals but is rare in humans.
- H5, H7 and H9 strains of the virus are most often found to affect humans.
What is H and N ?
- The influenza viruses that affect human beings are categorised into three different types : Influenza A, B and C.
- The influenza type A and B viruses have two types of spikes on their surfaces
- Haemagglutinin denoted by H : helps in the virus to attach and infect the receptor
- Neuraminidase denoted by N : allows newly synthesised viruses to spread.
- Severe respiratory problems and death if not dealt with in early stages.
- Symptoms are akin to common flu symptoms with the addition of respiratory tract problems and conjuctivitis.
- Avoid birds and poultry items.
- In case of outbreaks, avoid buying live or freshly slaughtered poultry and avoid touching birds and their droppings.