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Bird flu is a viral infection caused by avian influenza A viruses in birds. The viruses that cause the disease in birds can mutate and spread to humans. Bird flu is named H or N depending on the protein found on the surface of the virus. Out of the three types of influenza viruses (A, B, and C), influenza A virus causes zoonotic infection. Influenza virus A is categorized into types based on surface proteins hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase. Based on origin, the influenza A virus can be classified into avian influenza, swine influenza, and others types of animal influenza viruses. Avian influenza primarily spreads to people through direct contact with infected poultry. Human infections with avian influenza A virus were reported for first time in China. Since then, the virus has spread across the world and has resulted in over 1,500 reported human cases.
According to statistics provided by the World Health Organization, from 2003 to 2013, there were 620 confirmed cases in humans, of which, 367 resulted in deaths in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East regions. The U.S. reported 200 confirmed cases of avian influenza at the end of 2015. The best way to prevent avian influenza A infection is to avoid the source of exposure whenever possible. People who work in the poultry industry are primarily affected by avian influenza A infections. It is advisable for people who work with poultry to follow biosecurity and infection control practices such as use of personal protective equipment. In addition to this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who work with poultry should get an influenza vaccination every year. The avian influenza virus causes typical flu-like symptoms such as cough, fever, runny nose, muscles ache, headache, and lower respiratory tract problem such as shortness of breath. Diagnosis of bird flu is done through auscultation (to detect abnormal breath sounds), chest Xray, and RT-PCR. Authorities such as the WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are collaborating to assess the risk associated with bird flu. In April 2007, the FDA approved the first vaccine in the U.S. for the prevention of avian influenza or bird flu, which was manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, Inc.
Rise in outbreaks of avian influenza in the poultry industry and awareness about diagnosis among infected patients are projected to drive the bird flu treatment market during the forecast period. However, resistance of the virus to existing anti-viral drugs is projected to restrain the bird flu treatment market in the coming years.
The global bird flu treatment market can be segmented based on treatment, distribution channel, and region. Based on treatment, the global bird flu treatment market can be categorized into antibiotics, vaccines, antiviral agents, and immunoglobulins. The antiviral agents segment can be further divided into M2 ion channel blocker and neuraminidase inhibitor. In terms of distribution channel, the global market can be categorized into hospital pharmacies, institutional health centers, clinics, and online pharmacies.
Based on region, the global bird flu treatment market can be divided into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to hold a prominent share of the global market from 2018 to 2026, due to favorable reimbursement scenario and rise in public awareness about the disease and its drugs. The bird flu treatment market in Asia Pacific and Africa is expected to expand rapidly during the forecast period. Expansion of the market in the regions can be attributed to rise in outbreak of bird flu, increase in government initiatives to promote awareness about the disease, and rapidly developing health care infrastructure in the region.
Key players operating in the global bird flu treatment market are Sanofi, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline plc, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Forrest Pharmaceuticals Inc., Gilead Sciences, Inc., and Macleods Pharmaceuticals Ltd. among others.
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