Tuesday, February 28, 2006

BIRD FLU: What you need to know

I thought it prudent to inform you of some key tid bits of info regarding the B-Flu, since it may be unnecessarily scaring the shite out of some folks:

*The following information was extracted from http://www.symptoms.name/birdflusymptoms.htm*

Symptoms of bird flu (avian flu) in humans

In humans, it has been found that bird flu or avian flu causes similar symptoms to other types of flu:
Conjunctivitis
Cough
Fever
Muscle aches
Sore throat
(Severe cases) Breathing problem and pneumonia

Bird flu can be fatal.

Overview of bird flu (avian flu)

Bird flu, or avian flu is an influenza virus strain that typically infects birds - including wild birds like ducks and domestic birds like chickens.

There are many forms of bird flu, and most are relatively harmless, producing mild symptoms or even no symptoms. However, several strains of bird flu produce a highly contagious disease that kills quickly and can lead to a bird flu epidemic. These dangerous viruses are known as "highly pathogenic avian influenza." One such bird flu virus is currently spreading among chickens in Asian countries.

In recent years it was discovered that the bird flu virus can occasionally infect people who have close contact with live birds.

How dangerous is bird flu?

There have been a number of small outbreaks of bird flu since 1997, and people who get it appear to have a high mortality rate.

1997 Hong Kong - 18 people were infected and 6 people died.

2003 Hong Kong - Two cases and one death.

2004 East Asia- As many as 10 deaths have been linked to an outbreak in a number of Asian countries.

How can bird flu be treated?

Anyone with bird flu symptoms should see a health care professional immediately. Several antiviral medications used to treat human flu appear to be effective in treating bird flu, although the strain is resistant to some others. Consult your doctor.

How to Avoid Getting Bird Flu

The Centers for Disease Control recommends:

*travelers to clean their hands often with soap and water or waterless alcohol-based hand-rubs

*all foods from poultry, including eggs, should be thoroughly cooked.

*any travelers with a febrile respiratory illness returning from countries affected by H5N1 virus (bird flu) to seek prompt medical attention.

*avoid contact with live poultry and birds (if you are traveling to areas affected by avian influenza outbreaks)

Other informative links:
CDC
WHO
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