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Some useful information about bird flu

At first, bird flu appeared in Asia, where million of poultry was slaughtered in the attempt of stopping the virus from transmitting to other animals and humans.

Scientists believe that if H5N1 virus merges with a human flu virus, the new improved virus could transmit from human to human, leading to a global pandemic.

Wild birds are a natural reservoir of type A of flu virus, but they are not affected by it. They can infect domestic birds such as chicken and turkey that will get ill and then die.

There are many forms of avian flu viruses, some cause mild symptoms to the birds, but other forms are highly pathogenic and can lead to the extinction of the bird. This virulent form is responsible for what happened in Asia.

Until 1997, nobody knew that the virus can affect humans, but it has happened to those who have been in close contact with infected birds. Now, scientists are concerned about a possible mutation of the virus, making it more lethal and transmittable from human to human. This could lead to a global pandemic very much alike with the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919, when 40-50 million people died.

The pandemic can appear as a result of a combination between bird flu virus's genes and genes of a regular human flu, resulting a new virus that can rapidly infect a large number of people.

By now no cases were registered where an infected person transmitted the virus to another person, but the risk for this to happen soon is quite high.

Birds get infected by eating or inhaling the virus, and they shed the virus in their saliva, faeces and mucus. People that get in close contact with infected birds or with their faeces can also get infected. Eating cooked chicken or turkey is not a way of getting the disease.

Some of the symptoms of H5N1 flu are: fever, muscle pain, lethargy, sore throat conjunctivitis, breathing problems.

So far, doctors used anti-viral drugs to treat the infected people, and most of them proved to be of help.

In Asia, the bird flu made a lot of victims: in 1997, Hong Kong, 18 persons got infected and 6 died; in 2003, 2 persons were infected, one died; in the Far East 10 deaths were recorded.

As soon as the scientists develop an effective H5N1 vaccine the panic that people have been living in could come to an end, and life could regain its natural course.

About the Author: So, if you want to find out more about asian bird flu or even about bird flu vaccine please click this link

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