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Avian Influenza Virus: Threat To Humanity

1425 words - 6 pages

Unbeknownst to us, there is a residing disparity that threatens the very existence of humanity. Something that does not quite yet exist poses a threat to the continuation of human existence as we know it. An unpredictable occurrence of avian influenza (bird flu) strain is the primary concern of public health professionals and health care administrators. The peril of a potential humanized strain of avian influenza outbreak is completely uncertain partly because of the impact which the ecosystem plays in the variance of viruses and the evolutionary structure of bacteria. Although research enthuses imply that the occurrence of an avian influenza is unlikely to appear within our generation, it is still critical to remain vigilant.
The first appearance of the avian influenza is suspected to have emerged in 1878 in northern Italy when Perroncito demonstrated a contagious disease of poultry associated with high mortality (Lupiani & Reddy, 2009). Avian influenza was later defined by Perroncito as “fowl plague,” an acute contagious disease of poultry and other domestic and wild birds (Alexander & Brown, 2009). The highly pathogenic avian influenza became endemic through Italy and Central Europe until it disappeared around the mid-1930s (Lupiani & Reddy, 2009). It was not until 1918 that this highly pathogenic influenza reached the United States. In 1918, the United States, and most of the world was living in fear of an invisible enemy that was rumored to destroy everything in its path. It has been determined that the influenza epidemic of 1918 killed more people than the number of deaths obtained during World War I. One fifth of the world’s population was attacked by the deadly pandemic influenza virus of 1918, killing an estimated 50 million people in comparison to the estimated 16 million deaths that occurred during World War I (Sfakianos & Alcamo, 2006). To date, it has killed more people than any other illness recorded in history. It was not until 1955 that it was shown that fowl plague was avian influenza virus whose genomic composition was virtually identical to the one found in the human influenza virus (Sfakianos & Alcamo, 2006).
Every few decades, new diseases and illness begin to emerge as old pathogenic activity begins to become immune as medical research prevails. It was not until 1997 when the first avian influenza virus in humans was reported in Hong Kong, China (Sfakianos & Alcamo, 2006). Avian flu, H5N1, virus infected 18 people, six of whom were reported dead due to the infection (Sfakianos & Alcamo, 2006). Currently, as reported by World Health Organization, from 2003 through October 2013 data analysis, 641 confirmed human cases of avian influenza virus from 15 countries has been reported (World Health Organization, 2013). As of today there are approximately 380 reported deaths from the exposure of avian influenza (World Health Organization, 2013). The source of the human infection is...

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