Everything was going smoothly until one day in March that changed everything from smooth to everything but smooth. Covid-19 made us sit in our homes, practice social distancing, maintain hygiene, using sanitizers, and whatnot.
From our birthdays to our parent’s marriage anniversaries, every function was celebrated at home, in LOCKDOWN. The whole year after March was a lockdown only. A new strain of Covid-19 was also discovered in the UK. Luckily, vaccination has been developed. We are not yet over with Covid-19 trouble, and the bird flu outbreak is observed again. What will happen in 2021?
How is the bird flu caused?
Avian Influenza, commonly called Bird Flu or Avian Flu is found in birds. It is due to a virus that is adapted by birds. The most significant risk is in HPAI, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Although this is bird flu, it can harm humans who come in contact with a carrier of this flu, and then it can spread from person to person.
Based on their pathogenicity, Avian Influenza is classified into two types; High pathogenicity type (HP) along with Low pathogenicity (LP) type. The HPAI strain was found in a farmed goose in Guangdong Province, China, in 1996. Low pathogenicity strains of this virus were also found in the provinces of North America.
The H5N1’s first human case was observed in 1997 during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong. From that year onwards, it has been found in poultry and wild birds around the globe. Pigeons are unable to transfer this virus to humans or other birds or animals. Although they are not immune to the virus, they do not get ill and cannot transmit it.
History of Bird flu:
WHO reported more than 700 human cases of the H5N1 virus since the year 2003 that are mainly from 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, The Pacific, and The Middle East. But the widely remembered date for the starting of avian influenza is in the year 1878. Initially, it was known as the “Foul Plague.”
In 1878, avian influenza was separated from those diseases that had a high mortality rate in birds. Fowl Plague included the Newcastle disease until the year 1950. Between the years 1959 and 1995, 15 occasions were recorded of the HPAI virus outbreak in poultry farms, but no considerable loss was noticed. But after that, between the years 1996 and 2008, 11 occasions of the HPAI virus outbreak has been recorded in poultry farms, out of which 4 times the loss involved millions of birds. The world’s poultry population increased up to 76% in the developing nations and 23% in the developed countries in the year 1990.
This contributed to the increase in the prevalence of bird flu. Before the year 1990, the mortality rate of the HPAI virus was high in poultry farms, but infections were contained. The outbreaks became common because of the constant movement of flocks from poultry production.
The 2021 Outbreak of Bird Flu:
Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh had confirmed the reason for the recent deaths of birds as Avian Influenza. Delhi is the ninth state to ensure cases of bird flu recently. Eight samples, 3 samples from Sanjay Lake, 1 sample from Dwarka, and 3 samples from Mayur Vihar Phase 3, are found positive for bird flu on Monday morning by Dr. Rakesh Singh, animal husbandry unit of the Development Department. Sanjay Lake has been closed for the visitors for safety measures and precautions.
Since the death of 27 ducks is observed in the last 3-4 days in Sanjay Lake, it has been declared an “alert zone” by the authorities. Ninety-one crows have died within the previous week across DDA parks at Begumpur, Sarita Vihar, Dilshad Garden, and Dwarka. The parks at Dwarka and Hauz Khas have been closed.
The biggest wholesale poultry market, Ghazipur, has also been closed entirely, and Delhi has announced the ban on the import of live birds in that area. Response teams have been formed in every district of Delhi. Our Chief Minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal has said that the focus is mainly on Bhalswa Lake, Sanjay Lake, and Hauz Khas.
Culling over 1.6 lakh birds at five poultries in the Panchkula District, Haryana has begun on Saturday, as reported by the news agency PTI. More than 4 lakh birds were found dead in Haryana in the last 2-3 weeks.
The states have decided to provide PPE kits and necessary accessories used in birds’ culling and disposing of bird waste. Also, they have been asked not to let rumors about poultry farming. Instead, they are suggested to spread awareness about safety measures and precautions.
Distinguishing between myths and facts about the new Bird Flu outbreak:
With the rise of bird flu in India’s various states, there has been a rumor surrounding this spread. With chickens and other birds being culled daily, is it safe to consume meat? To bring you the latest updates on this matter, it is essential to distinguish between reality and myth.
The myth is that you cannot consume any poultry products, especially meat and eggs, during the bird flu. However, the fundamental truth is that you can consume both meat and eggs when cooked well at a high temperature. Well-cooked meat will prevent you from any infectious spread. In addition to that, any meat product cooked above 70 degrees Celsius will automatically cook the meat well. Therefore, it is 100% safe to eat chicken and other poultry products.
Before you cook meat and eggs, wash them properly. Make sure that it is properly cleaned. If you want to know more about the recent updates on the Bird flu, keep your eyes on the latest news. Help yourself by bridging the gap between false rumors and reality!
The start of the new decade witnessed quite a negative impact with the arrival of the novel coronavirus. It has produced quite a devastating effect on almost every aspect of life. Seeing that the world was free of any such virus that threatened almost every nook and corner of the world made the virus more alarming and dangerous. With no vaccines to cure the virus created, the only solution was to do one’s best to prevent it.
Symptoms of the virus
There are many symptoms associated with the pandemic that has caused a stir (a negative one) all around the world. Symptoms such as cough and cold, headache, shortness of breath, loss of sense of taste and smell, high fever, diarrhea, and other such symptoms of the virus.
Prevention of the virus
While it is not always possible to prevent a virus that is not on sight but spreads like wildfire, it is also best to take measures to steer away from it. Here are some of the ways and steps that were incorporated into one’s daily routine which are mentioned below.
- The use of hand sanitisers and hand washes became more important than ever and it was suggested to wash one’s hand or use a hand sanitiser regularly and whether possible.
- Social distancing which was a term seldom heard prior to the virus has now perhaps become the most used term as this has become a social rule to keep the virus at bay.
- It has now become mandatory for a person to wear a mask and stepping one step out their door without a mask can be very dangerous. The threat of the virus has caused an uproar to the extent where one cannot even go to their own home’s lawn or bank yard or any other area without a mask.
Impact of coronavirus
It is not information unknown to the world that the virus has caused a very devastating and severe impact on the entire world and one that can seldom be recovered in this decade at least.
- The economic industry has been severely affected by the pandemic as the flow of income and business in general came to a halt. The financial flow came to a curb for almost everyone and given the situation was one of emergency, there was nothing one could do to stop this economic loss.
- The educational field also witnessed a major loss with all the educational institutions closing on a temporary basis so as to keep a distance from the virus. This severely disrupted the routine of every institution and the education of one whole year has been obstructed due to the virus.
- Countries that were already a victim of poverty saw an increase in the same evermore with almost every organisation and office belonging to every field coming to a close. This meant a curb in the flow of income from their earning source which had a negative impact on their financial status and existence thereby, making the poverty rate rise even more.
- Not every problem seems to be external, some are even internal. The suicide rates all over the world increased more than ever. Mental health too was severely and negatively impacted by the virus following the lockdown which made people stay inside the walls of their own home for days and months. This led them to become anxious and develop stress ultimately leading them to depression. Existential crisis witnessed an increase more than ever with almost everyone questioning their existence and feeling their existence is devoid of meaning. Hence, it can be seen as to why the suicide rates increased as one’s mental health was put to test along with their physical health in a stressful situation as this.
These were some of the negative impacts that the pandemic left and continues to leave in the affected parts of the world. Moreover, the list would continue and perhaps be a never-ending one if one was to mention all the negotiable impacts and consequences of the virus in detail.
The above lines were history or so it seems with every news channel and social media platform now being flooded with the news of the coronavirus vaccine. Many countries reported a rise in the rate of people affected by the virus and deaths caused by the same as well. The cases have relatively fallen now since the advent of the virus at the beginning of the decade.
Ever since the coronavirus vaccine was developed and tests were conducted, it has been reported that the side effects of the vaccine were severe and the vaccine was not so safe for application. In many parts of the world, the vaccine is already being provided to those in need for free but the news about the severe reaction of the vaccine cannot be ignored or dismissed. There are also claims that the vaccine is not designed to fully treat the virus but only curated in order to prevent it. As far as the matter of how true these claims are going, only time can tell whether the vaccine is really helpful or not.
Despite the claims of the vaccine not working to treat the virus or it producing negative side effects, it is still being in almost every part of the world and the government has also taken the deed of providing it for free since the virus is a situation of emergency. The vaccine drive was even put to a halt for a few days given the complaints that were tagging along with its creation. However, now it is being used worldwide.
One cannot really tell if the vaccine will work in their favour or not but as is believed that prevention is better than cure, the virus has certainly made this assertion more important than ever and also made people take this proverb more seriously. Hence, whether the vaccine is useful or not, it is still wise to take measures to prevent gaining the virus as much as possible.
The year 2020 was a rollercoaster for real. Everything was fine until one day in March when the world came to know about a new virus, called the Coronavirus or the Covid-19. The virus proved out to be dangerous to humans of all age groups. Many people died and were forced to be inside their own houses as prisoners for months. The world is still fighting against this deadly virus, but it has been known to develop a new strain in the UK. It is said that vaccination will provide this year, but there is a lot to learn.
What is coronavirus?
Covid-19 is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by a recently discoveredcoronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). WHO first heard about this virus on 31st of December 2019, from a report of several cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, China. The virus then spread across the world, and by March 2020, WHO declared it a “Global Pandemic.”
Nothing has been expected since then. People were in complete lockdown at the start, and death rates were increasing because nobody was prepared for this; people were, and still are, following social distancing all the rules told by the government. Due to this sudden chaos, people were outraged and wanted to know where and how this virus came into existence. People began searching for answers online desperately and were introduced to a lot of myths about the virus.
Among all of the assumptions made about the origin of the Coronavirus, one became quite famous. A video of people having “bat soup” was circulated on the web, and it was said that the world was facing the Coronavirus outbreak because of it. However, there is no proof till now about the “bat soup” theory proposed by people. The origin of this virus is yet to be known.
Do’s and Dont’s In the Pandemic
Since we all live amidst a global pandemic, we need to take care of ourselves and others. Coronavirus has a very high mortality rate, and it spreads quickly. Therefore, it is high time that every individual stays cautious and try to prevent themselves from catching this virus.
Let’s discuss the symptoms, precautions, and cures of this deadly virus.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are as follows:-
- Mild Fever
- Cough (dry)
Some less common symptoms include the following:-
- Loss of taste or smell
- Nasal congestion
- Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)
- Sore throat
- Mild to severe headache
- Muscle or joint pain
- Skin rash
Severe COVID‐19 disease symptoms include the following:-
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Constant pain or pressure in the chest
- Fever (above 38 °C).
It is advised that people of all ages, on experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, must contact the doctors as soon as possible. Most of the people who are affected by this disease might recover without any special treatment. The risk is higher among older people and the people who suffer from underlying medical problems like diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. These people are likely to develop a severe illness, which may even lead to death if not taken care of correctly.
Prevention is always better than cure. If we can prevent something wrong from happening to us, we win. To slow down this outbreak’s spread is to be well-informed about the latest updates and the basic rules regarding fighting against Covid-19.
Some of the rules you must follow for your safety are mentioned below:-
· Practice social distancing.
· Wear masks every time going outside.
· Use sanitizers.
· Be well informed about the updates of Coronavirus.
· Cough or sneeze on your elbow instead of your hand.
The End of Covid-19, Is It?
As we are living in these difficult times of a global pandemic, WHO is working together with health experts and scientists, tracking the what if’s of the pandemic, giving advice on critical cases, distributing necessary medical supplies to needy people, all to develop and distribute safe and effective vaccines. Vaccines come in handy, saving the lives of millions of people every year. Vaccines work by training our own body’s immune system to fight against the targeted viruses and bacteria. When exposed to those diseases that cause germs, the body is ready to destroy them all, hence, preventing illness.
Currently, there are more than 50 covid-19 vaccine candidates that have applied for the trials. WHO collaborating with scientists, businesses, and global health organizations via the ACT accelerator speed up the pandemic responses. When the safest and most effective vaccine is found, COVAX will distribute the vaccines to protect people worldwide. People who are higher at risk will be prioritized.
Recent updates on Covid-19:
Even though vaccines are on the roll-out, some countries face the after-shock of the third wave. The UK and other European countries see a surge in Covid 19 cases, as patients are transferred to the hospital amongst fear of catching the virus. Therefore, what is the solution left?
One way individuals can protect themselves is by carefully following all the rules and regulations set up by healthcare and government officials. It is essential to wear masks whenever traveling outside. In addition to that, social distancing is a must. Avoid crowded places at any cost. When hosting a personal gathering, follow the norms set by the government. Disobeying the rules will only lead you to face the consequences of the pandemic. Therefore, you have to be careful with how to behave and stay in this pandemic-stricken world.
More Covid-19 updates from different corners of the world show how this virus has disrupted daily lives. With work from home becoming the new typical and millions of people losing their jobs, it is high time to act responsibly. If you find anyone not following basic quarantine rules, you must correct them!
Climate Change was once considered a hoax is spreading across the world. Some people still think of climate change as some rumor spreading all around. But some people take this topic seriously, as it should be taken. We live on this beautiful planet Earth, and it is our sole responsibility to maintain its beauty and judicially use its resources.
There have been more than enough incidents within the past that happened due to climate change. The most dangerous one is Global Warming. Global Warming tends to increase year by year, and most of the world’s population seems not to care.
What is climate change? What does it look like?
In particular, this change is noticeable from the mid-20th century to the late 20th century. It is attributed to a high rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels.
Although there was Global Warming before the 20th century, humans have consistently played a vital role in increasing Global Warming levels since the mid-20th century.
Global Warming and Climate Change – The Difference:
While some might think that Climate change and Global Warming are the same, let us clarify the fundamental difference between the two.
- Climate change
Climate change is the increase in climate measures like temperature, precipitation, wind patterns, weather, etc., over a long period.
- Global Warming
Global Warming can be defined as the increase in the global temperature due to greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. So, Global Warming is an aspect of Climate Change.
The Causes Of Climate Change:
Since we have already discussed what climate change calls are all about, let us briefly introduce the causes behind climate change.
- Greenhouse Gases and Its Effects
Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and do not let it escape into space. It absorbs and releases radiant energy within the thermal infrared range and leads to the Greenhouse effect. The Earth’s leading greenhouse gases are CO2, Methane, Water Vapors, Nitrous oxide, and Ozone.
These gases act as a cozy blanket around the Earth. Greenhouse gases either naturally occur in the atmosphere or are produced by humans. Gases like methane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, etc., are naturally occurring, whereas human activities produce gases like CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons).
- The Greenhouse Effect
Whenever short-wave radiation coming from the sun reaches the Earth, its most part passes straight through and hits the surface. The Earth absorbs the radiation and releases longer-wavelength infrared radiation. The infrared radiations are absorbed by the greenhouse gases instead of passing out in space. Our atmosphere then emits radiation in all directions, throwing some of them back to the surface, leading the planet to heat up. This process is called the Greenhouse Effect. This effect is vital for our existence. It helps in maintaining the Earth’s temperature.
Without this effect, Earth would be 30 degrees colder than it is now. It would have been impossible for us to survive in that condition. Although the Greenhouse effect is essential for our survival, we have been releasing more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. This Earth is trapping more heat, and instead of keeping a stable temperature, Earth is heating up at a faster rate. This phenomenon is called the “Enhanced Greenhouse Effect.”
- Man-made Causes
Today, we can find more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than there ever had been in the past 800,000 years. Humans are causing climate change by producing an increased level of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. During the 20th and the 21st century, the level of carbon dioxide has increased by a rate of 40%, which is quite concerning.
There are numerous ways in which humans are producing greenhouse gases. Some of them are mentioned below:-
- Burning of fossil fuels
- Agriculture (animals produce methane)
- Natural Causes
Although we humans are leading in the list of ‘causes of climate change,’ there are several natural causes. Natural cycles may lead to sudden changes in the temperature of our surroundings. It can vary from warming and cooling of climate consistently.
These force the climate to change and are thus termed as “forcing.” Some of the natural cycles are mentioned below:-
- Milankovitch cycles
- El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
Natural or Man-made causes – Which One Is Dominating
Even though there are many natural causes for this climate change, we cannot deny that humans are the leading cause. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported some stats with 95% certainty that human activities are the leading cause of Global Warming, Climate change. After looking at all the shreds of evidence of past and current human activities, we cannot neglect that we humans are destroying our home by our greedy nature.
Although natural climate cycles can change the Earth’s temperature to some extent, the changes we observe are happening at a speed that cannot be explained by biological processes. The natural cycles affect the global climate for months or years, not the 100 years that we have observed. Thus, we can undoubtedly say that human activities like the burning of fossil fuels and industrialization are the root cause of climate change.
Effects of Climate Change
The direct effects of climate change include the following:-
- Rising in the level of temperatures
- Rising in the sea level
- Shrinking of glaciers
- Higher ocean temperature
The indirect effects of climate change include the following:-
- Food and water crisis
- Heatwaves and rise in temperature increasing health risks
- The spread of pathogens and pests
- Loss of biodiversity
- Ocean acidification
Below mentioned are some ways by which you can prevent climate change.
- Spread awareness: – Talk to your relatives, friends, colleagues, and tell them about the importance of climate change. Climate change is a concerning issue, and we need to heed it.
- Power your home with renewable energy: – We all are familiar with the fact that change begins at our home, so start with yourself first. Reach out to firms that produce electricity from solar or wind energy and power your house with them.
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances.
- Reduce wasting water.
- Use public transport.
- Use paper bags.
- Practice Afforestation.
- Reduce the use of plastic.
- Conserve, restore, and improve the management of land.
Since we all have gained a little bit of information about the whole concept of Climate change, we must look at some preventive measures to heal the very planet on which we live and not cause more and more damage to it.