WHY IN NEWS?
An 11-year-old boy in Delhi died of H5N1 avian influenza. This is the first recorded death due to the bird flu in India in 2021.
About Bird Flu:
- Bird flu or avian influenza is a disease caused by avian influenza Type A viruses found naturally in wild birds worldwide.
- The virus can infect domestic poultry including chickens, ducks, turkeys and there have been reports of H5N1 infection among pigs, cats, and even tigers in Thailand zoos.
- Avian Influenza type a viruses are classified based on two proteins on their surfaces – Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA).
- There are about 18 HA subtypes and 11 NA subtypes. Several combinations of these two proteins are possible e.g., H5N1, H7N2, H9N6, H17N10 among others.