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The “bird flu” epidemic: another suffering in Yemen

Yemen suffers from extremely deteriorating health conditions and the health situation in it cannot be described as less than catastrophic, as a result of the war that has been going on for nearly six years between government forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the Houthi militia supported by Iran, who control a number of governorates, including the capital, Sana’a. Since September 2014 AD, the health disaster in Yemen is not limited to the Coronavirus “Covid-19”, as there are epidemics, viruses and diseases that have spread since 2016. During the past years, Yemen ranked last in the Arab and World Health Index.

There are many epidemics, viruses, and diseases that Yemenis have been struggling with since the war began in 2014, especially in areas with high poverty rates and no health centers available. Hundreds have been injured in light of the collapse of the health situation due to the six-year war, and the health situation in Yemen cannot be described as less than catastrophic.

In addition to the difficult living situation in Yemen that the Yemenis endure, they found themselves during the year 2018 AD facing another epidemic to suffer another, more ferocious suffering with deadly epidemics, with another epidemic, “bird flu”, in conjunction with the collapse of the health sector in the country, the deterioration of medical services and the imposition of a group The “Houthi” measures are described as “arbitrary” against international organizations, and the health situation in Yemen cannot be described as less than catastrophic.

The “bird flu” epidemic spread in Yemen for the first time in the first millennium between the years “2004 – 2005 – 2006 – 2007 AD”.

The global outbreak of “bird flu” is what happens when a new “flu” epidemic appears or arises among humans, causing a serious disease, and then begins to spread easily from one person to another around the world, noting that epidemics are different from seasonal outbreaks of influenza. .

In February 2018, the “bird flu” epidemic broke out again in the Yemeni capital, “Sanaa”, again and in some Yemeni governorates under the control of the Houthis.

More than 100 different deaths and injuries were recorded, and the cause of the epidemic is due to the accumulation of garbage and the failure to dispense medical treatments and annual vaccines.

In January 2016, initial examinations in a hospital in the capital, “Sanaa,” revealed that a patient had been infected with the “bird flu” epidemic that had spread globally and was being combated.

This caused a state of anxiety and fear within the hospital, which led to the hospital’s management refusing to complete the patient’s medical procedures.

In December 2019, 20 cases of “bird flu” died in the governorate of Taiz, located in the west of southern Yemen, while the statistics are much more, especially since most of the Yemeni population is concentrated in rural areas, which is the largest proportion of 80% of the total population.

Symptoms begin within three days of a cold and then turn into shortness of breath and then death. In the event that a person has symptoms of the “bird flu” epidemic, he must go to the hospital when there is difficulty or acceleration in breathing, cough accompanied by bloody sputum, chest pain, severe continuous vomiting, and the appearance of symptoms Other new ones such as a disturbance of consciousness. If the fever or cough does not improve after three days, a visit to the hospital is required.

In February 2018, the total number of “bird flu” cases reached more than 90 cases, and the total number of deaths reached more than 40 deaths in the capital “Sana’a” and the governorates of Taiz, Ibb, Dhamar and Saada.

The “bird flu” epidemic is an infectious bird disease caused by influenza viruses, ie “Influenza A viruses”, migratory waterfowl – especially “wild ducks” –
They are a natural reservoir for all influenza viruses.

It is a disease caused by a type of influenza virus that has developed and adapted in the bodies of birds.

The most dangerous type of this virus is the highly pathogenic “bird flu” “HPAI”.

Note that the term “bird flu” is similar to “dog, horse, or swine flu” in that it refers to a disease caused by a strain of influenza viruses that has developed and adapted in a specific host.

Of the three types, the pandemic is “influenza (B, A, C)”, and type “A” is a zoonotic virus that can be transmitted to humans where the largest natural reservoir of these viruses is in birds. In most cases, “bird flu” refers to “influenza” viruses from Type “A”, and although the “bird flu – (influenza A)” epidemic develops inside the bodies of birds, it can develop inside the human body and transmit from one person to another, and there is research in the genes of the Spanish flu that showed that this epidemic has adapted in the bodies of humans and birds. .

Seasonal outbreaks are caused by subtypes of influenza epidemics that are already circulating among people, while epidemic outbreaks are caused by new subtypes, subtypes that have not spread among people previously, or subtypes that have not circulated among people for a long time, and past influenza epidemics have led to high levels. From disease, death, social disruption, and economic loss.

Outbreaks of epidemic cases among humans due to “avian influenza – H 5 N1” from poultry, began in the Asian continent in 2003 AD, and until now, the majority of cases occurred to children and youth who were in good health before infection. Most, but not all, of these cases have been linked to direct contact with infected poultry or their H5N1 secretions. It is specifically worrisome for several reasons, and it changes rapidly and may use genes from other viruses as this includes human influenza viruses.

The current epidemic of highly contagious avian influenza in Asian countries was caused by “H 5 N1”, so this epidemic is a case of concern. If more people are affected, over time, the possibility also increases for an innovative subspecies with enough human genes to facilitate transmission from one person to another, such an event as this marks the beginning of a flu pandemic.

There are four different drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDE) to treat or prevent influenza (Amantadine, Rimantadine, Oseltamivir, and Zanamivir). The four usually work against influenza epidemics, but, not always, because the flu pandemic strain can Become resistant to one or more of these drugs, for example, the epidemics of “influenza” meaning “H 5 N1” that infected humans in the Asian continent in the years 2004-2005 AD were resistant to both amantadine and rimantadine. Resistance to “avian influenza” epidemics must be monitored For medications on an ongoing basis.

It is unlikely that a vaccine will be available in the early stages of the epidemic, when a new vaccine against the “bird flu” epidemic begins, scientists around the world collaborate together to select the epidemic strain that will provide the best protection against that epidemic.

Vaccine producers will use the selected strain to develop a vaccine, and when a potential pandemic strain of “influenza” is distinguished, it will take several months before a sufficient vaccine becomes available.

It is worth noting that the broiler chickens are vaccinated at the age of ten days by injecting the vaccination under the skin of the neck, using vaccination for the serotype “H5 N1” or “H9 N2”.

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