Application of Community Health & Population-Focused Nursing
Western Governors University
A1. Description of Disease
Avian Influenza, commonly referred to as the Bird Flu, is a highly contagious virus amongst birds (avian). These viruses occur naturally and can move quickly from wild aquatic birds to domesticated chickens, ducks and turkeys. Wild birds infected with the avian influenza virus usually do not get sick. The virus that normally infects the respiratory tract, affects wild birds intestines instead. However, our domesticated birds aren’t as fortunate and can become very ill and even die from the virus. There are two different strains of the virus: low pathogenic ...view middle of the document...
A2a. Route of Transmission
Direct contact with infected poultry or contact with surfaces, objects or equipment that have become contaminated by the infected bird is how the avian influenza is spread. Birds infected with the virus can pass it through saliva, nasal secretions and feces. The bird flu spreads from bird to bird, just as easily as the human flu spreads. One very disturbing fact is that ducks can be affected by the virus but still not show any signs of illness. Because ducks are so domesticated, one can understand how the virus is spread to humans unknowingly. The avian influenza virus typically does not infect humans; however it is not limited to just birds either. Humans that are infected with the virus most likely have been in direct contact with infected poultry. According to studies, as of now the virus is not easily spread from human to human although that can change at any time so it is imperative that public health maintains continuous monitoring of the bird flu (CDC, 2015).
A2b. Risk Factors
According to a study done by the CDC in 2004, risk factors associated with the bird flu outbreak were preparing sick or dead poultry for consumption or having sick or dead poultry in the house less than seven days before onset of illness and lack of an indoor water source (CDC, 2015). With diseased poultry, the virus may be transmitted through inhalation or deposit of infected droplets into conjunctiva or mucous membranes. Diseased poultry and no access to water definitely create a problem for handwashing. Not to mention, the water source must be monitored for contamination of feces or fluids from sick poultry before bathing and drinking. Raising and preparing healthy poultry for consumption and people with an acute respiratory illness indicate minimum risk for infection.
A3. Effect of Outbreak on Community
Recently in May 2015, the United States (US) took a major loss in revenue due to a bird flu outbreak in Minnesota and Iowa. Last year, China and South Korea together imported $428.5 million in US poultry (Philpott, 2015). After this year’s outbreak, China and South Korea imposed bans on US chicken. On a community level, Minnesota’s turkey farms took a hit with 3.6 million birds being affected and Iowa’s egg-producing facilities had 9.8 million hens affected (Philpott, 2015). All birds not killed directly by the flu were euthanized to prevent further spreading of the virus. Obviously with the loss of the turkeys and hens, it took a major toll on local poultry farmers, produce, businesses and the community as well. Thankfully with this particular situation the bird flu never spread to humans, but the effects of an outbreak on a community can still be observed. Considering how many birds were affected by this outbreak that was primarily contained to a couple northern states, its understandable why this virus is closely monitored. If the virus spread to the southeast, where major production of poultry...