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Statistics On The Spread Of H5N1 Virus

Sep 4, 2008
Bird flu is of many types. There are generally many kinds of flu that can infect birds i.e. wild birds as well as domestic birds, like chickens or turkeys. But currently, health officials have been especially concerned about one particular strain of bird flu.

The virus is also known as H5N1, it can make humans as well as birds also severely ill. The H5N1 flu virus has affected many a hundreds of thousands of birds, and more than 200 humans worldwide. Health officials are concerned that the bird flu will become the next pandemic influenza strain in humans.

However, it's very difficult for people to get H5N1 bird flu from each other. Most people get it from infected with the direct contact with birds or their droppings. That's why there have been so many human cases.

Statistics of the recent outbreak of the bird flu
A recent influenza outbreak, formally called H5N1 after two distinctive proteins on the flu virus, has so far mainly affected birds. In the last decade the virus has appeared in birds in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Viet Nam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Turkey, Romania, England, and Canada.

The six countries i.e. Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Cambodia, China, and Turkey have reported a total of 151 human cases of the H5N1 flu since December 2003. Eighty-two people have died, generally after being sick for a week or two at most. These infected people are thought to have caught the disease by contact with infected birds. There has been no known human-to-human transmission of the virus till the date.

Statistics of the spread H5N1 virus
It is quite possible that the H5N1 virus could mutate so that it can pass much more easily from birds to humans and from there spread among humans. If that were to happen, public health experts warn that the disease could expand to kill 200,000 to 1.9 million people in the U.S., and 180 million to 360 million people worldwide.

Other strains of the bird flu viruses that affect birds but not humans are also active. A recent outbursts at a poultry farm in Gonzales County, Texas prompted quarantine, the slaughter of more than 6,600 chickens and several international bans on importation of U.S. poultry, including into Mexico.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the strain was found in Texas was not the H5N1 strain, and is not believed to be infectious for humans. However, it is highly contagious among certain types of birds and industry officials are worried the Texas strain could spread and kill entire flocks of chickens. The potential ramifications for U.S. insurers could be far-reaching and includes a number of complex tort issues.
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