PAEROSOL efficacy toward airborne and surfaced H5N1 viruses.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Influenza A is a pathogen of substantial public health concern worldwide. The evidence for human-to-human transmission of Influenza A H5N1 has identified it as a strain with pandemic potential, which would present significant challenges to the healthcare infrastructure in terms of both infection control and patient volume. H5N1 is easily transmissible between birds facilitating a potential global spread of H5N1. H5N1 is mainly spread by domestic poultry, both through the movements of infected birds and poultry products and through the use of infected poultry manure as fertilizer or feed. Humans with H5N1 have typically caught it from chickens, which were in turn infected by other poultry or waterfowl. Birds are also able to shed the virus for longer periods of time before their death, increasing the transmissibility of the virus. According to a report by the WHO, H5N1 may be spread indirectly. The report stated that the virus may sometimes stick to surfaces or get kicked up in fertilizer dust to infect people. H5N1 has mutated into a variety of strains with differing pathogenic profiles; some pathogenic to one species but not others, some pathogenic to multiple species. Each specific known genetic variation is traceable to a virus isolate of a specific case of infection. H5N1 has mutated into dozens of highly pathogenic varieties divided into genetic clades, which are known from specific isolates, but all currently belonging to genotype Z of avian influenza virus H5N1, now the dominant genotype.