Avian Influenza – A Quick Guide
Over the past couple of months, we’ve all been hearing about the Avian Influenza outbreak in Europe and parts of Asia. And with recent cases reported across the UK, we understand it can be an anxious and confusing time. So, we’ve put together this quick guide that we hope will answer some questions and give you peace of mind.
About Avian InfluenzaAvian Influenza (aka Avian Flu or Bird Flu) is an infectious disease that spreads among birds and poultry. And in some rare cases can be caught by humans. It can be spread among birds through direct physical contact or through bodily fluids. However, it is not an airborne disease. Through numerous spreading, the virus changes frequently, creating new strains – some more harmful than others.
What are the symptoms?The symptoms of avian influenza in birds range in severity, depending on the strain of the virus. These are separated into Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI). The more serious (HPAI) symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen head
- Discolouration of the neck and throat
- Respiratory problems or distress such as coughing, gurgling or a gaping beak.