Some information about Avian Influenza
Avian influenza is a virus infection that normally occurs in wild birds and pathologically in poultry, its forms causing mild symptoms or even death within 48 hours. It can also infect humans.
Wild birds are a reservoir of the virus and they spread the disease among the poultry which gets into close contact to contaminated dirt, water, food and wild bird excrements.
The avian influenza viruses can cause a mild form of the disease that does not kill the infected birds, and it only reduces the egg production, and a highly virulent form that can lead to death within 48 hours by multiple internal organ lesions.
Until 1997 nobody knew that the virus can affect humans, but it has happened to those who have been in close contact with infected poultry. Until now, no cases of human to human transmission of the infection were registered.
Getting in close contact with an infected bird can lead to human contamination. People that take care or sell in markets such infected birds, like chicken, turkey and ducks, inhale particles from dried excrements, or feathers which are contaminated.
Eating cooked chicken is not dangerous because heat kills the H5N1 virus.
If you have been lately in close contact with one ore more infected birds, you could develop one or more of these symptoms: fever, lethargy, sore throat, muscle aches, cough, breathing problems, and multi-organ failure, meaning that you have been infected with avian influenza.
Some people say: Why worry about Bird flu?
We should worry because:
- H5N1 virus has caused by now millions of bird deaths, and hundreds of humans only in Asia;
- If the virus mutates it will spread from human to human, causing a global pandemic;
- Chicken industry will be seriously affected.
Until now, in treating avian influenza, doctors have used antiviral drugs obtaining good results, and they are waiting for the accreditation of a H5N1 vaccine. Doctors have discovered that H5N1 virus is resistant amantadine and rimantadine, two antiviral drugs used for treating human influenza. There remain oseltamavir and zanamavir to be tested.
If you have a flock of chickens it is not necessarily to remove them because in the US no cases of bird flu were registered among poultry. But you need to be careful and report any sudden deaths you observe in your poultry to the Minister of Agriculture.
Hunters are also advised not to eat sick game, to wear some plastic or rubber protection when handling the game, and to cook very well their game.
In case of a bird flu infection, the government will prohibit selling chickens in the markets while there is a threat of bird flu and also will suspend the imports of chicken from the infected countries; will advise people to stay away from any kind of birds; will ask farmers to report any suspect deaths observed on poultry.
About the Author: So, if you want to find out more about bird flu vaccine or even about asian bird flu please click this link http://www.bird-flu-info-center.com/