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Terminology: Bird Flu, Avian Influenza & H5N1

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posted on Nov, 5 2005 @ 10:36 AM
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I have been confused about the terminology. If someone has 'bird flu' does that mean H5N1? Not necessarily. While the terms 'Avian Flu', 'Avian Influenza, and 'Bird Flu' are synonymous, 'H5N1' is the particularly dangerous strain that emerged in 1997. This is the one that has everyone in such a panic.



Avian Influenza (also known as bird flu, avian flu, influenzavirus A, type A flu, or genus A flu) is a type of influenza virus that is hosted by birds, but may infect several species of mammals. It was first identified in Italy in the early 1900s and is now known to exist worldwide. A strain of the H5N1-type of avian influenza that emerged in 1997 has been identified as the most likely source of a future influenza pandemic. Avian Influenza




H5N1 is a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza (bird flu). The first known appearance of this type of influenza in humans was in Hong Kong during 1997. The infection of humans coincided with an epidemic of avian influenza, caused by the same strain, in Hong Kong’s poultry population. The outbreak was stopped by total elimination of poultry population within the territory. The name H5N1 refers to the subtypes of surface antigens present on the virus: hemagglutinin type 5 and neuraminidase type 1.


So if someone contracts 'bird flu', which has been around for many years, it isn't necessarily H5N1.

I apologize if this has been covered. I searched and didn't find anything specifically addressing the terminology.



[edit on 5-11-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]




posted on Nov, 5 2005 @ 11:59 AM
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A mutated strain of the Avian flu. Something like a designer virus.



posted on Nov, 5 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
So if someone contracts 'bird flu', which has been around for many years, it isn't necessarily H5N1.


One thing you have to remember is that the press loves a catchy phrase and Avian Flu sounds much more nefarious than H5N1. The media is using the term interchangably.



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