Avian influenza (AI), can be commonly known as bird flu. It is an infectious viral disease of birds. It is generally found in ducks and geese which live in open rivers. Avian influenza virus can cause infection in poultry and livestock which may result into an endemic. Avian influenza is an uncommon disease amongst humans but it can happen due to close contact of humans with the infected species. A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) are some of the common viruses which can infect human life severely.
Avian flu viruses are categorized into types based on their pathogenicity viz high pathogenicity & low pathogenicity. There is a high probability of risk of transmission of avian flu people working in poultry or visit virus infected countries, coming in contact with the infected bird or consuming raw or under cooked meat and eggs.
The A(H5N1) virus subtype, is highly pathogenic. The virus was reported to be deadly two decades ago and since that the virus has proliferated to Asia, Europe and Africa and has impacted many countries massively, yielding tons of poultry infections, several hundred human cases of severe illness ultimately resulting into death. The A(H7N9) virus subtype, is much rare and is of a low pathogenicity and its cases are reported only in East-Asia. Bird flu symptoms are dependent of type of virus infection. Hence, with the onset of avian flu outbreaks in poultry livelihoods, the economy and international trade is said to be affected in such countries.
Preliminary symptoms of A(H5N1) virus include high fever, cough, diarrhea, headache, sore throat, runny nose, muscle ache. Also, lower respiratory tract problems emerge early in patients whereas A(H7N9) virus include shortness of breath, fever & cough. The major driving forces that drive the market growth constitute as better diagnosis arising out of awareness amongst infected patients owing to clinical representation.
On the basis of drug type, the global market for avian flu treatment is segmented as antivirals, combination treatment, prophylactic antibiotics, steroids and other immunosuppressants, immunoglobulin and ribavirin. Antivirals are further segmented as neuraminidase inhibitors and ion channelM2 blockers. On the basis of end-user, the global market for avian flu treatment is segmented into hospital, institutional health centers and clinics.
On the basis of geographic segmentation, the global avian flu treatment market spans North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Middle-East & Africa. North America dominates the global market owing to rise in public awareness favorable reimbursement whereas Asia-Pacific market witnesses a steady growth for bird flu treatment market.
A veterinarian has been tested positive for bird flu. The virus got transmitted from the cats that had come to him for treatment against H7N2. The virus has thus spread from cats to human. The cat aged 12 years old is assumed to have consumed a sick pigeon or came in contact with some other infected cat. The majority of the cats testing positive possess mild symptoms are expected to recover as the NYC health department states the chance of transmission is still too low.
The key players in the global avian flu treatment market include GlaxoSmithKline plc, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., Forest Pharmaceuticals Inc., and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.
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