Prevention of Avian influenza: necessity of home testing kits in poultry

Prevention of Avian influenza: necessity of home testing kits in poultry

“Aves” is a class under the “Animalia” kingdom that refers to birds which a warm-blooded vertebrates. Keeping similarity with “Aves”, a Type-A influenza virus is named as Avian Influenza. Normally, Avian influenza virus does not infect humans but it can be spread to poultry and bird animals through infected live or dead birds.

Avian influenza or bird flu?

Avian influenza refers to bird flu generally. In 1996, an influenza Type-A virus was first detected in China from a goose. Later in 1997, a report came out from Hong Kong that Avian influenza also affects human beings. It was categorized as a subtype of the Influenza Type-A (H5A1) virus primarily but thereafter this virus started mutating and created another subtype of H7N9 till 2013.

Is Avian flu still a threat to humans?

On May 22, 2024, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that they had detected A(H5A1) virus in wild birds, poultry, wild mammals, and cattle in Texas via public posts. World Health Organization (WHO) reported that, a total number of 889 cases with 463 death caused by the Influenza-A(H5A1) virus from 2003 to April 1, 2024.

Typically, humans can be immune from the Avian influenza virus or bird flu if not come into contact with affected birds without protection like using gloves or masks. Maintaining proper hygiene is necessary after handling any birds to prevent bird flu among humans. According to research eggs are safe if it is cooked to 106°F or 71°C but eating raw eggs can infect humans.

What are the signs and symptoms of Avian influenza?

Primarily, there might be no symptoms of this flu but symptoms can shift mid to severe and also can result in death among human beings.

  • Fever or feeling of feverish without increasing temperature
  • Sore throat and coughing
  • Muscle pain, body aches, and headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Respiratory distress

Is there any treatment for Avian flu in humans and poultry?

The cure depends on the severity of the patient’s condition. As Avian influenza possesses quite similar symptoms to bacterial infection, so, it is suggested to not take or give antibiotics to poultry without proper investigation. Antibiotic never works against viruses, antimicrobial drugs can worsen the severity. After pathological examination, the physician or Vet will decide to prescribe the appropriate antiviral medication to treat the Avian influenza virus.

Is there any role of a Home Testing Kit in preventing Influenza-A(H5A1) virus?

Prevention is always better than cure. China Ministry of Agriculture approved Avian antigen test kit to detect this virus among poultry. It is easy to use and this Home Testing Kit might play a vital role in preventing Avian flu. If farmers can detect Avian flu primarily among their infected poultry, they can isolate it from other animals and can take precautions to handle infected ones. By this small safety measure, both humans and animals can stay risk-free from the H5A1 virus,


 For decades, the world experienced various sub-types of the influenza virus. Avian influenza or bird flu is another type of influenza that can be prevented by maintaining hygiene and some small precautions like using Home testing kits.   

Pharmacologist I Researcher Research Coordinator Working site: Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, Rajshahi, Bangladesh Toxicology Society of Bangladesh