Domestic Fowl Horror - Avian Flu

We all remember well how frightened us were the reports in the media about the appearance of bird flu. Of course, many of us do not know his symptoms and features, but we are all terribly afraid of his epidemic. Consider bird flu and symptoms in chickens, because our poultry are the first victims.

Avian or chicken flu is an acute disease of the birds, associated with the high activity of several subtypes of the virus. Today, there are already 15 known varieties of this infection, however, H5 and H7 are the most pathogenic. Literally in a very short period, they infect the body of the bird and cause 100% death.

We first learned about this flu in 1997 when the disease spread to people in Hong Kong. It was the scary H5N1 virus that still scares humanity. Since then, outbreaks of the disease are regularly observed in many countries of Europe, Asia and Africa.

Influenza virus carriers are wild birds (especially waterfowl). At the same time, they developed a natural immunity during the evolution, and today most of them are only carriers of infection. But domestic birds, especially chickens and turkeys, do not have such immunity, so they quickly become ill and die. For most wild birds, the main infection stamps are asymptomatic.

The reasons

Avian influenza is caused by the RNA-containing virus Ortomyxoviridae, which belongs to group A. They differ in a rather complex structure and the possibility of the production of protective antibodies. Today, scientists have studied several types of the virus, however, the greatest interest was caused by the type of H7N7, which causes bird plague, and H5N1, from which birds die within 48 hours. The remaining types are mild or asymptomatic.


As we have said, the disease of poultry can be mild and severe. As for the first, in this case, the hens worsen the condition of the feather and there is a decrease in egg laying. With such symptoms, the disease goes away quickly, even without much human intervention. The second form of influenza - acute, which causes the type of H5 and H7, is characterized by a whole set of external manifestations and rapid death of birds.

The first thing that affects the bird flu virus is the nervous system of the birds.

  • In chickens, there is a discoordination of movements, they can stagger, fall, bend the necks and wings.
  • There is no reaction to external stimuli.
  • Also, the birds temperature rises to 44 ° C, appetite disappears, there is thirst, pulmonary edema.

In the first stages of infection, approximately the first 20 hours of incubation, the chickens are depressed, they can sit with their eyes closed and breathe heavily. External signs of the disease:

  • ruffled feathers;
  • blackening of the comb and earrings;
  • hyperemia mucous membranes;
  • hoarse breathing;
  • diarrhea;
  • convulsions;
  • neurosis.

The H5N1 influenza subtype severely affects the vascular system, so internal hemorrhages and impaired blood circulation are observed in chickens. During the first day the brain edema occurs.

Treatment methods

Wear a protective suit before handling chicken.

No matter how scary it sounds, but bird flu is not treated today in domestic chickens. Sick birds, as well as all other domestic birds, which came into contact with them, are killed to prevent the spread of the virus. Do not eat foods from diseased birds. Preventive methods for chickens also at the present time have not yet been found, except for those that protect poultry from contact with wild representatives. As well as complete isolation when detecting signs of the virus in the surrounding area.



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