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H5N1 threat UPSC NOTE

 Can the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strain spread from cattle to humans?

  • The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 strain has been affecting cattle across several States in the U.S., and for the first time, three cases of human infection in dairy farm workers were also reported, raising fears of the risks of a wider transmission of this virus from cattle to humans

What is the strategy to identify and contain the spread of the virus?

  • The common symptoms of H5N1 are similar to those of influenza-A illnesses, including respiratory difficulties, fever, cough, sore throat and pneumonia, all of which can potentially worsen, especially in those who are immunocompromised or have underlying conditions.

  • People should avoid unprotected exposure to infected birds or animals or their contaminated environments

  • If at all one has been exposed to a possible H5N1-contaminated environment, they should monitor themselves for new respiratory illness symptoms, including conjunctivitis for 10 days and seek proper medical advice

  • It would be better to ensure that people use only pasteurised milk and poultry meat and eggs should be well-cooked to prevent any possible food-borne transmission of H5N1.

What is the concept of ‘One Health’ and how is Kerala using it to limit the spread of avian influenza?

  • One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach — working at the local, regional, national, and global levels — with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment

  • The concept of ‘One Health’, although often acknowledged, is rarely prioritised and operationalised.

  • The districts of Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, where water bodies, migratory birds, fowls and integrated farms form part of the ecosystem, have reported H5N1 outbreaks in 19 places since April

  • Kerala, however, has taken ‘One Health’ beyond the conceptual framework and the project is currently being implemented as part of the World Bank-aided ‘Rebuild Kerala’ project in four districts — Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Idukki. 

  • It has established a community-based disease surveillance network, with 2.5 lakh volunteers trained in the ‘One Health’ concept in these districts, who will report any unusual events or death of animals/birds in a locality so that early warning and early preventive or control measures can be taken

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: H5N1 threat UPSC NOTE
H5N1 threat UPSC NOTE
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