Bird flu: Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention
What is Bird Flu?
Bird Flu, or Avian Influenza, is an infectious disease of birds caused by Type A strains of the influenza virus. Domestic poultry such as chickens and turkeys most susceptible. The virus that causes Bird Flu H5N1, is lethal. It has killed more than half of the people infested, including healthy adults. Most of the people infested so far are believed to have caught the virus directly from sick birds. If Bird Flu mutates so that it is transmissible human to human, the number of deaths could reach into the millions.
How Does Bird Flu spread?
- From another Bird.
- If come into contact with dirt, cages, or any surfaces that have been contaminated by sick birds.
- If birds’ infected feces and saliva get on farming equipment, like tractor wheels, clothing and cages.
How can you protect yourself?
- In most places, there is no immediate threat to humans from Bird Flu.
- The best way to protect yourself is by doing the same things you do to protect yourself from any contagious illness.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
- Take proper food safety precautions.
Symptoms of Bird Flu
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Chest pains
- Breathing problems
What should do in Flu?
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
- Consult local doctor to take medication to relieve the symptoms of flu.
- Antiviral Medications can also be used to prevent the flu.
Treatment of Bird flu:
Treatments vary in their approach depending upon the symptoms of the patient. Body is kept hydrated to deal with the loss of salt and water caused due to diarrhea. Paracetamol is given to lower high fever and head ache. In most cases, treatment with antiviral medication such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) can help reduce the severity of the disease.
Prevention of Bird flu:
The best way to prevent infection with bird flu is to avoid sources of exposure whenever possible. Most human infections have occurred due to direct close or prolonged contact with sick or dead infected poultry.
Note: Bird Flu is not a Threat!!! You cannot get Bird Flu from properly handled and cooked poultry and eggs.