1. Names of the people in this group: Oscar Holton and Stephen Farrington
2. Common name: Avian influenza virus or bird flu. Scientific Name: H5N1
3. Picture external image 61424646_d1120dd12a.jpg
4. History of the Avian Flu
The first confirmed case of avian flu was in 1890, and the worldwide swine flu (H1N1) started in 1918 in Spain. In 1957, the H2N2, the Asian flu killed 100,000 people. In 1968, the H3N2, the Hong Kong flu pandemic killed 700,000. In 1997, the H5N1 virus (avian flu) killed six in Hong Kong. All of the chickens in Hong Kong were exterminated to prevent the spreading of the flu (during that time).

2003: At least 3 cases, at least 2 infected, at least one death, Hong Kong and South Korea
2004: At least 82 cases, at least 48 infected, at least 34 dead, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea
2005: At least 13 cases, at least 12 dead, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Russia, Kazakhstand, Tibet, Mongolia, Greece, USA.
2006: At least 35 cases, at least 36 dead, Iraq, Indonesia, China, Greece, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Austria, Sloventia, Egypt, France, India, Russia, Denmark, Poland, Azerbaijan
2007: At least one case, at least one death, Hungary, Nigeria, England

5. Symptoms of Avian Influenza Infection:
Flu-like symptoms:
  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • muscle aches
  • eye infections.
A bad case of bird flu can cause respiratory problems, including pneumonia.

6. How the bird flu is transmitted:
Avian influenza infection is transmitted by having direct or close contact with infected poultry or surfaces contaminated with secretions and excretions from infected birds. Eating poultry that isn't completely cooked can give the consumer an avian influenza infection if the poultry was infected. Its not common for a person the spread the bird flu to another person.

7. The structure of Avian Influenza Infection
Avian Influenza Infection is a Influenza A viruses which means, it has have 10 genes on eight separate RNA molecules. Bird flu's scientific name H5N1 stands for the protien hemagglutinin (H5) and the protien neuraminidase (N1)

8. How Avian Influenza Infection Enters A Cell:
The virus connects with a cell membrane when the hemagglutinin, link to molecules on the cell surface of the host. The cell surface folds inwards causing the virus particle to drop into the cell. The virus falls further into the cell until it is completely wrapped up in cell membrane. The cell membrane vesicle breaks free from the surface of the cell and carries its contained virus into the cell. The penetrating virus produces a viral genome containing the RNA of the virus and sends it to the nucleus. The cell then becomes infect and turns into a viral producer. Then the cell release virus particles that are ready to infect
other cells.

9. How does the body fight the virus?

The flu is commonly associated with a high fever and coughing, feeling depressed, being nauseated, vomiting, having diarrhea, and generally feeling terrible. All of these symptoms are present while the body fights the infection, but unfortunately, there have been no cases of effective immunity (found naturally) among humans, so those that have been treated as having bird flu BEFORE the symptoms occur only have a one out of five chance of surviving. Most people die from having the bird flu, as a result.

10. *How has the virus changed over time? Are there documented cases of it mutating? How does this occur? What specific changes were observed and how did this affect humans or other organisms? If no mutations have been directly observed, predict what might happen if the virus were to change in the future.

There have only been 10 recorded instances (since 1959) of humans becoming infected with avian flu. Of the avian influenza "A" viruses, only 4 (H5N1, H7N3, H7N7, and H9N2) have been recorded to been capable to transferring to humans. Only the extremely pathogenic (disease-spreading) H5N1 virus has had deadly results. The H5N1 avian flu has had the greatest success killing its victims and spreading to others, once in Hong Kong in 1997 (18 cases with 6 deaths), again (in Hong Kong) in 2003 (2 cases with 1 death) and in the 2004-'06 outbreaks, there were at least 13 confirmed cases, with at least 4 dead. The difference between the '06 outbreak of H5N1 and the current swine flu (H1N1) is that the H5N1 didn't have the necessary abilities to travel easily from one person to another, making a pandemic virtually impossible. In the 1997 cases of H5N1, there was extensive evidence supporting the fact that the virus required contact with the diseased animal as the source of the infection, making the requirement of an easily shared virus no where to be found, making the possibility that a pandemic would happen in 1997 very unlikely (although Hong Kong's entire poultry population was destroyed as a result of those 18 cases. If the avian flu had had characteristics that woud've allowed it to transfer easily from human to human, then more and more people would've gotten infection and the avian flu would've become a pandemic. As for the source of the original infection, the current evidence has pointed towards dead or sick birds that have (or had) caught the H5N1 virus. However, given the multitude and scale of the 2004-'06 infections, it can be said that the virus has retained the ability to infect humans in both water and feces contact. Unfortunately, the larger poultry sources, such as chicken or egg farms, have been devoid of the severity and prevelence of H5N1 that would've normally been assumed to have been associated with such a large volume of poultry.

The number of mutations (that would've led to a pandemic) have been extremely few in comparison to the number of possible strains that could be out there (or have been out there), so I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that in order for there to be a pandemic, the virus is going to learn the DNA/rNA instructions to make humans cough the virus from one person to another.

11. How is this virus treated by medical professionals?
The following drugs are not effective in treating bird flu: amantadine and rimantadine. The following drugs are relatively untested against the bird flu: oseltamivir and zanamivir. There is no drug that has been found that has been proved to be effective at combating the virus. Oseltamivir should be perscribed as 75mg twice a day for five days for humans 13 years or older, in the beginning and end of the suspected (0-5 days) cycle that the virus may take. The N5H1 virus may impede drug absorption because of gastroinstinal problems, which should be considered as a factor.
There is no effective vaccine against the N5H1 avian flu and infection should be avoided by wearing a face mask and avoiding contact with other people and birds.

12. Sources: in addition to in-text hyperlinks, provide a list of all sources used.

13. Be sure to make your portfolio visually appealing and easily read by the general public.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/avian_influenza/en/
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/facts.htm
http://www.birdfluclues.com/bird_flu_history.html