Main menu:

Receive every new article by email! Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Site search


Avian Flu Symptoms And Treatment

Since ancient times mankind has suffered from waves of virus-attacks. Who doesn’t know the “black plague” that decimated whole populations until some decades ago? And who can forget the HIV-virus that we know since 25 years by now. Avian flu is another possible treat to mankind, and the danger becomes bigger and bigger because of our modern technology: people travel around the world in a few hours, and so do these viruses. Avian flu is described as a “potential pandemic”. Avian flu, known as H5N1, could easily mix with the human flu virus to create a new virus.  In Asia, flocks of poultry have been found to be infected with the Avian flu. Luckily for humans, precautionary measures can be taken to avoid catching the deadly virus. However, a thorough understanding of the virus and Avian flu symptoms, is needed.

Avian flu is a virus that currently only affects birds. When a bird  catches the illness, with rare exceptions, it often shows no symptoms. The birds may spread the virus to one another, resulting in mass poultry death.  The birds spread the flu, residing in mucus discharge, body fluids, and fecal matter. For example, if one bird eats feed that came in contact with infected feces, chances are that bird will contract the illness. 

Humans are most likely to contract the Avian flu if the person has a pre-existing flu. If one ill person is in close contact with infected birds, the virus may spread to humans.  This most commonly happens when fecal dust particles are inhaled, when mucus of birds is touched, or inadequately cooked poultry is eaten.

Viruses adapt to a changing environment, so it’s possible that the Avian flu virus could merge with the human flu virus, creating a devastating virus.  During the cold and flu season, people could rapidly spread the virus to one another. If this happens, a pandemic could quickly kill a large percentage of the worlds’ population.

Live bird markets are common in Asia. It’s also common among Asian village communities for families to raise poultry for food to sell in the markets, without regard to sanitary practices. Fecal matter from the birds is also a concern for the spread of Avian flu. The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised that travelers to Asian countries should avoid live food markets.

Another way to avoid contracting Avian flu symptoms is to thoroughly cook poultry. When poultry is cooked to at least 160 degrees, the Avian flu virus is killed, and transmission of the Avian flu is not possible.

Avian flu symptoms are especially distinguished from normal flu by symptoms of pneumonia and difficulty in breathing. Sore throat, muscle ache, fever, cough and conjunctivitis are particular to “normal” flu symptoms. If you’ve been exposed to live poultry markets in Asia and exhibit the Avian flu symptoms, including pneumonia and breathing difficulties, see your physician at once.

It’s likely your physician will prescribe a treatment of Tamiflu or Relenza, most effective within the first 48 hours of exposure. At the present time, the virus has not developed an immunity to these drugs. However, if caught early, prospects of survival are increased.

Remember, when traveling to Asian countries, do not come near poultry farms, stay away from places with fecal matter and avoid live food markets. If you have avian flu symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. Cook all poultry thoroughly, and be open to Tamiflu and Relenza.

Technorati Tags: No Tags