Bird flu, also known as avian influenza is a very deadly disease that affects birds and chickens, and even humans. Medically called Highly Pathogenic Asian Avian Influenza HPAI A (H5N1), this virus was first detected in geese in China back in 1996. And although it is unlikely to be transmitted to humans, nearly 20 Hong Kong residents got infected in 1997 during a poultry outbreak.
Noted as being a highly contagious virus, bird flu and often hard to detect because it does not have flu-like symptoms. Among the notable signs that your chicken is likely to get infected include coughing and sneezing, nasal discharge, diarrhea, lack of coordination and energy, loss of appetite, as well as a significant decrease in egg production.
According to various studies, the mortality rate of chickens infected with the H5N1virus is from 90% to 100%. Also, the virus is said to have spread when infected birds are moved or have migrated to a new location. Apparently, infected chickens don’t show early signs of the disease, but can easily infect the healthy ones. The only way to know that your chicken is infected is through laboratory tests.
How To Prevent Bird Flu
There were various incidents of reported outbreaks in poultries in more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the US. While there have been some vaccines discovered to provide immunization to chickens, there is still no proven cure. However, there are some preventive measures that you can do. This includes avoiding illegal chicken dealers, observing proper sanitation, and prevention of wildlife visitors.