Avian Influenza. Bird Flu. Description of the Bird Flu.
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Bird flu, also known as Avian Influenza, is a type A influenza virus. It is fatal to humans. Bird flu spreads between both wild and pet birds. It has also been passed from birds to humans who are in close contact with poultry or other birds.
Avian Influenza is very contagious.
History of the Bird Flu
First infected humans in 1997 during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong SAR, China.
The virus has spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and has become entrenched in poultry in some countries, resulting in millions of poultry infections.
The most recent out break of the virus was in February 2004
There are two different strains of the virus, A(H5N1) and A(H7N9)
The A(H7N9) virus particularly affects people with underlying medical conditions.
In many patients, the disease caused by the A(H5N1) virus follows an unusually aggressive clinical course, with rapid deterioration and high fatality. Like most emerging disease, A(H5N1) influenza in humans is not well understood.
Symptoms of the Bird Flu
Bird flu symptoms in humans are fever, sore throat, cough, nausea, shortness of breath, headache, muscle pain, to eye infections, and pneumonia.
Depending on how bad you get the Bird Flu, determines your symptoms.
Transmission of the Bird Flu
People catch bird flu by close contact with birds or bird droppings.
Some people have caught H5N1 from cleaning or plucking infected birds.
Some people were infected after swimming or bathing in water contaminated with the droppings of infected birds.
There have been a few cases where one infected person caught the bird flu virus from another person -- but only after close personal contact.
People don't catch the virus from eating fully cooked chicken or eggs
Where the Bird Flu originated
Avian Influenza(Bird Flu) originates from birds in China, but can now pass from birds to humans.
Domesticated birds and poultry farms is where the bird flu starts. Humans come in direct contact with these infected birds exposing their selves to the disease.
It is found in six different cities in China.
Cures for the Bird Flu
There are no known cures as of now but treatments such as antiviral medication and zanamivir seem to relieve some of the effects of the disease.
Severe infections may require the hostess to be put on a breathing machine and kept away from others.
Oseltamivir can be prescribed to those who live in the same home as the infected.
A vaccine for the Bird Flu has been approved and even just a flu vaccine might keep you from getting the disease.