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Avian flu: the number of cases of the disease in birds in Brazil rises to 19

The number of cases of avian influenza (H5N1) in birds in Brazil rose to 19. In the state of Espírito Santo, four more outbreaks were registered, three of them in the municipality of Marataízes – in the species Thalasseus acuflavidus (thirty réis of band), thalasseus maximus (thirty réis-real) and Nannopterum brasilianum (biguá) – and one in the municipality of Guarapari – in band terns. The other two foci were in the state of Rio de Janeiro, both in the species Thalasseus acuflavidus.

Among the 13 previously confirmed cases by laboratory, there are nine in the state of ES, in the municipalities of Marataízes, Cariacica, Vitória, Nova Venécia, Linhares, Itapemirim, Serra and Piúma, three cases in the state of Rio, in São João da Barra, Cabo Frio and Ilha do Governador, and one in the south of Rio Grande do Sul.

On Thursday (1st), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock also confirmed the detection of the low pathogenic avian influenza virus (H9N2) in a free-living duck, of the species Cairina Moschata, in the city of Pará de Minas, in the state of Minas Gerais. According to Mapa, the detection of a new subtype of the virus is unrelated to the outbreaks confirmed in wild birds in other states. Furthermore, it does not require the application of emergency measures.

The first cases of avian influenza in the country were registered in wild birds on May 15th. The Ministry of Health points out that, so far, there have been no confirmed cases of avian flu in humans in the country.

Risk of human-to-human transmission is low

Influenza viruses, which cause the flu, normally circulate among animals, but they can also infect humans. In general, human transmission occurs mainly through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated environments.

The infection can cause illnesses ranging from mild infections of the upper respiratory tract, such as the nose, larynx and pharynx, to more serious conditions that can be fatal. Patients may also show signs of conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal symptoms and inflammation of the brain.

The diagnosis to define influenza is carried out from laboratory tests, as with Covid-19. Molecular diagnosis, which consists of carrying out genomic sequencing of the virus, allows identifying the viral strain involved in each case.

Evidence suggests that some antiviral drugs, particularly inhibitors of an enzyme called neuraminidase (such as oseltamivir and zanamivir), can reduce the duration of viral replication and improve the condition of patients.

Currently, the main factors that contribute to the transmission of avian influenza are direct exposure to infected wild birds, the intense flow of people and goods around the world, and the sale of live birds in markets and made, which facilitates close contact between different species and other animals.

Based on available information, WHO considers human-to-human avian influenza virus detections to be sporadic, with no evidence of person-to-person transmission to date. Therefore, the probability of international spread of the disease through humans is considered low.

Source: CNN Brasil

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