Avian Influenza (Flu) or Bird Flu refers to a group of infectious diseases caused by flu viruses that infect birds and make them ill. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.
The first outbreak of Bird Flu happened in December 2003. Since then, over 700 cases have been reported in Africa (most notably, Egypt), Asia (Indonesia and Vietnam), and Europe. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, cases of human infections with Avian Flu viruses have been recently reported from China.
In the Philippines, there has been a report of an Avian Flu outbreak in the town of San Luis, Pampanga on August 14, 2017.
The Department of Health (DOH) Secretary, Paulyn Ubial, has ordered the deployment of Epidemiologists to investigate the cause of the reported outbreak and to look for possible human infection cases. As part of protocol, both the Department of Agriculture (DA) and DOH will provide flu vaccinations and protective equipment for poultry handlers and responders.
Avian Influenza AH7 viruses are a group of influenza viruses that normally circulate among birds. These avian influenza A (H7N9, H7N2, H7N3 and H7N7) viruses are subgroups among the larger group of H7 viruses.
Reference: Santos, T. (2017, August 14). Take precautions vs bird flu, DOH urges public. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/922505/take-precautions-vs-bird-flu-doh-urges-public. ; Nordqvist, C. (2017, May 23). H5N1 bird flu: Causes, symptoms, and treatment. Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/5556.php. ; Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Information on Avian Influenza. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/.