The avian flu outbreak in Asia, Europe, the Near East and Africa is not expected to diminish anytime soon. Infections in domestic poultry will continue to occur along with the virus been transmitted to humans. Direct contact with the infected poultry is the reason for the human infection with this virus.
Even though this spread to humans has bee limited, it continues to pose a serious threat to public health if it is to expand.
This serious threat is due to the fact that there is very little human immunity to the bird flu virus known as H5N1. A outbreak of this disease could be disasatrous with high death rates around the world. Studies of the virus that was present in Vietnam and Thailand, show that fact that it is resistant to the two most common vaccines used to treat regular influenza. Two medications still remain though, which should still be effective in combating the H5N1 virus. Efforts to produce a pre-pandemic vaccines are underway but, no concrete vaccine for H5N1 exists for human use.
Recent studies have also shown that strain of the virus have become stronger than earlier forms of H5N1, especially in ducks.
In Thailand in 2004 , a study concluded that a possible human to human spread occurred between a mother and her child in a hospital. This did not continue beyond the 2 persons.
In Vietnam in 2005 , two people were suspected of being infected with H5N1 after consuming uncooked duck blood.
In Azerbaijan in 2006, teenargers were believed to be infected after removing feather from possible infected swans.
In Indonesia in 2006, a close knight family of 8 aquired bird flu. This resulted in 7 deaths in the family. The infection began from a family member who handled poultry and then spread to the rest of the family members.
Most commonly, bird flu has occurred in people up to 40 years old. A mortality of about 60% has been reported in people infecte with H5N1. This mortality rate was highest in people 10-19 years old. The highes risk factor in aquiring this diseas remaing handling and been around poultry. It has been shown to possibly expand in close knit family groups.
A import ban on birds from the affected areas currently exists. This includes dead or alive birds, and any products derived from birds( including hatching eggs) from those specific countries.