From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Avian flu
Mains level : Zoonotic diseases and their prevention
- India has been declared free of Avian Influenza (H5N1).
- The status will last only till another outbreak is reported. India was last declared free of the disease in 2017.
How H5N1 affects humans?
- Avian Influenza was first reported from Hongkong in 1997. Since then, there have been many outbreaks across the world. India too has had multiple outbreaks since 2005.
- The symptoms of an H5N1 infection in humans include mild upper respiratory tract infection (fever and cough), early sputum production and rapid progression to severe pneumonia.
- It can lead to sepsis with shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome and even death.
Significance of the declaration
- This declaration is important not just from the poultry industry standpoint, but also because humans can contact the disease from animals though the pathogen is not capable of sustained human-to-human transmission.
- Humans can be infected with avian, swine and other zoonotic influenza viruses, such as avian influenza virus subtypes A(H5N1), A(H7N9), and A(H9N2) and swine influenza virus subtypes A(H1N1), A(H1N2) and A(H3N2),” says WHO.