Bird Flu Life Cycle
The bird flu virus, or avian influenza, is an infection that mainly affects birds. Wild birds worldwide are carriers of bird flu, but normally do not show any signs of having it. Chickens, ducks and other domesticated birds are the most at risk group of becoming infected with bird flu. %%AFC-ADVERT%%
Avian Influenza Types
There are two different types of the bird flu virus: low and high pathogenic. The low one is a mild form that is not too harmful; the high one spreads fast and claims many bird lives. Although not common, humans can become infected with bird flu.
Nasal secretions, saliva and the faeces of infect birds carry the virus and spread it. Any domesticated birds that have contact with the bird flu virus in this way or through contaminated surfaces, can fall victim to the disease.
When the infection is in a bird, the virus fuses to permissive cells in the respiratory system. This happens more often than not in the nose, mouth and throat of the bird. Then, the virus gets into the cell’s cytoplasm and through to the nucleus. As soon as it infiltrates the nucleus it produces genetic material so that it can multiply. Bird flu virus particles vacate the cell and move onto invading tissues that surround the cells in order to infect further cells.
When bird flu has proliferated in the bird’s body it will shed from mucous membranes and into the bird’s secretions (saliva, nasal discharge and faeces).