Avian Influenza: A Case StudyEssay

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Bird Flu, Subtype Viruses and Their Effects

Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza (AI) is basically a transmissible virus largely detected in wild birds (for instance geese and ducks which are included in wild water fowl), yet the birds show no signs of sickness for that matter. These AI viruses can seldom creep into local poultry and could initiate massive outbursts of a disease. Few of these AI viruses have been noted to transcend the species barrier affecting animals, mammals and humans. These AI viruses are segmented into two categories due to their capability to spread infection in poultry:

• High pathogenicity

• Low pathogenicity

In case of high pathogenic viruses, death toll can rise up to 100% under 48 hours in certain poultry species. In case of low pathogenic virus, the outburst of disease is possible but doesn't cause severe disease (WHO, 2014).

Avian influenza A (H5N1) and A (H7N9) background

A (H5N1) is a subtype virus which is a pathogenic AI virus. It first infected human beings in 1997 in China and Hong Kong in a poultry virus outburst. With its recurrence in 2003 and 2004, this subtype virus infiltrated Asia, Europe and Africa. In other countries, it has become deeply rooted causing countless poultry infections, many human infections and numerous human casualties. This virus outbreak has affected people and animals alike, economy and international trade in said countries.

The low pathogenic AI virus named A (H7N9) is a subtype virus which infected 3 Chinese- 2 people from Shanghai city and one individual from Anhui province during the month of March in 2013. Apart from these isolated cases, other cases of A (H7N9) infections haven't been reported outside Chinese boundary. The containment procedure consists of shutting down the bird markets for many months, which has a negative effect on international trade and agriculture industry of the countries afflicted. A (H7N9) has been under continued surveillance as its necessary to monitor, detect and prevent the dispersion of this virus (WHO, 2014).

Continuous rounds of A (H7N9) and A (H5N1) viruses in poultry domain, particularly in places where it can pose a threat to general population's health, the virus can cause severe harm to people. It could convert into another form which could harm humans more. Other variants of virus taking rounds in poultry vicinity can also pose a danger to general population's health (WHO, 2014).

Avian influenza A (H5N1) and A (H7N9) infections and clinical features in humans

Compared to cyclical influenza infections, the death toll due to A (H5N1) and A (H7N9) virus infections in population is exceedingly high. The A (H5N1) virus in particular has hazardous effects on the people with existing medical conditions (WHO, 2014).

During November 2014, many European countries reported outbursts of highly dangerous Avian influenza virus known as A (H5N1) in poultry farms. The virus is mostly observed in Asian region among birds and poultry animals. No human has been infected by this infection as of yet. The transmission risk from animals to human is rare and unseen. Yet, wild birds and poultry is being continuously monitored and testing is being conducted for ensuring that this pathogenic virus is limited to poultry animals and birds (ECDC, 2015).

I have chosen Hiram Waters who is the State Health Department's director in New England. Dr. Virginia's prime issue is that caution must be practiced when injecting an alien substance in 300 million citizens is spot on. Yet her concerns were lent a deaf ear. Those suggestions should have been taken into consideration. Hence, Lionel Trasiter's immediate action of dispatching a notice to Dr. Myles Borash (Assistant Secretary of Health) was a decent action since it comprised of a sense of urgency and some suggestions outlined. Lionel Trasiter realized the gravity of the situation since millions of lives were in question. The specifics were outlined clearly and so were the outcomes in any case otherwise. The federal government was shut out from this completely. The government needs to inject a huge sum of money into the vaccination program for the entire population. Public and private segments should be taken in consideration.

Secretary Kester deemed it necessary to take this matter into the White House's radar. As per her directives, the government should be ready to combat this threat keeping the number of casualties incurred during previous outbreaks. Evasive action needs to be taken against this grave concern. The price of immunization is unobjectionable since it outweighs its merits. The government should accommodate the fiscal budget to develop the production of the vaccine. Kester wrote and sent a memo to federal budget office beforehand warning about an additional $1 billion amount to be anticipated. She gravely warned about the evolving threat.

In addition to this, reelections were coming up and President Lane wanted to sweep them. In order to wield votes in his direction, he had to prove his mettle and resolve the current crisis. He went through the history, the likelihood of the outbreak that year and if enough amount of vaccine could be produced to cure the masses and prevent the virus from dispersal. He was promised confirmed results and all rest assured, he wanted to win the elections. His interest lied in winning the seat. Due to this reason, he took immediate action and showed the will to act. President Lane took the right decision in informing the top scientists of the government about this.

A panel of experts was called upon to talk it out. No member of the Congress was invited. They were shut out from this discussion. The diversity of opinions lies in inviting all state level members. Vice President Paul Cutler gave an idea about assigning this job to military for ironing out the logistics issue and fast forwarding the vaccine distribution process. It was lent a deaf ear during the discussion, though it was a practical idea.

CEO of Coastal, Richard Medvecky devised a way in dominating this potentially charged health care setting. He offered jobs to physicians from Atlantic experts in surgery, radiology, neurology to join Coastal. The salaries were doubled at once with a ten-year contracts along with yearly salary raises as well as extra compensation for covering college education of kids. All the physicians accepted this generous offer. The CEO manipulated them very well and caught their attention. Medvecky was aware that doctors had families and extra costs were accumulating. Dr. Marilyn is second in command of Pediatrics for synchronizing work, was ordered by Medvecky to form a committee with a well manageable staff. Counterproductive behavior resulted in coordination taking an adverse hit. Dr. Marilyn reported the happenings to Medvecky. He was unable to pay attention due to distractions. It was unethical to behave in this manner. He must initiate action at the earliest convenience. It was more of a politics case instead of a humanistic. Personal benefit was the prime aim of the parties involved. The matters were supposed to be handled humanely yet political and personal benefits crept in. Dr. Marilyn showed true work ethic and performed her job very well. She didn't involve herself in the corruption. She decided that matters won't be solved by voting. She would give a verdict on the basis of hearing of both parties. Since, the higher authority was absent at this point, she acted as a judge.

Being the Director of State Health Department, I would have advised to target the general population in evading the spreading of this disease. People dwelling in the state need to be aware of it and taken relevant preventive measures to keep from harm's way. The campaigns must be initiated on a large scale and each nook and cranny of the state should be combed. The necessary hygiene should be guaranteed. The general population must be given this message.

The necessary precautions to be taken against poultry infection are as follows:

• Rinse your hands with water and use anti-bacterial soap for twenty seconds at least subsequent to cooking poultry food

• Avoid poultry from coming in contact with other foods and use clean cutting boards. Clean the utensils with water and soap.

• Employ a food thermometer to ensure that poultry is cooked at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. People can cook at a higher temperature than that but not below this.

• Prepare eggs till they are white with firm yolks

It's imperative to realize that strength lies in numbers since partnerships can marshal manpower and material and attain the desired tasks together rather than working singlehandedly (CDC, 2013).

A competent public health system has strong affiliations. The concerned parties are aware of their due responsibility, clear paths of communication, clear health goals, sharing of resources, government public health agency's governance, looping between various states, federal partners, tribal, local and territorial regions.


CDC. (2008).Questions and answers about avian influenza (bird flu) and avian influenza a (h5n1) virus. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/qa.htm

CDC. (2013). Office for state, tribal, local and territorial support centers for disease control and prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/docs/usph101.pdf… [END OF PREVIEW]

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