Saturday, October 6, 2007

>>About Avian Flu Birds

About Avian Flu Birds

Avian flu is commonly called bird flu. It is an infection that occurs naturally in birds. The virus is carried by wild birds in their intestines. The wild birds rarely get sick from the virus. It is however very contagious among domesticated birds like chickens, ducks and turkeys. It can make them very sick, very quickly and usually leads to death.

The virus comes in two forms. One is a low impact variety that usually goes undetected. The domestic birds show little change. The high impact form spreads quickly through a domestic flock. The virus attacks internal organs and the infected birds are usually dead within two days.

The virus spreads through domestic birds quickly because the birds are typically held in close contact with each other. The saliva and feces spread the virus from one bird to the next. Common areas like water and feed supplies often become contaminated and accelerate the spread of the disease.

Typically avian flu does not transfer from birds to people. But in recent years there have been more than 100 confirmed cases of human infection by the World Health Organization. The flu spreads to people in much the same way it spreads to other birds. The humans that were infected had contact with the infected chickens, ducks or turkeys or contaminated surfaces. Transfer from one infected person to another is luckily very rare.

Avian flu symptoms are very much like normal human strains of the flu and include fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches. Additional symptoms vary based on the specific strain of the virus that caused the infection. A lab test is needed to confirm if the person is suffering from avian flu or just a normal human strain.

While this may not sound like a serious problem, health official are very concerned about avian flu being transmitted to humans even in small numbers. The risk is that the virus will adapt over time to a form that is highly contagious among humans just like it is now among domestic birds. Additionally all viruses are a concern because they can become resistant to drugs and harder to treat.

Currently in the U.S., there is no risk of avian flu. There is no concern about eating properly cooked eggs and poultry. There is no need to wear a surgical mask when around large groups of people. It is also considered safe to maintain a flock of chickens for personal egg production.

As a precaution you should avoid contact with any wild bird. Do not attempt to touch a diseased or dead bird. You can contact your local government for proper removal of the dead bird. Often the bird will be sent for testing to determine if any disease was present.

Hunters should exercise caution when dealing with game birds. They should never handle or eat sick birds. When cleaning the bird, latex gloves should be worn. The knives, surfaces and other equipment should be cleaned with soap and water. Hunters should not drink, eat or smoke while handling the birds. This could easily transfer contamination to the mouth. All game birds should be cooked thoroughly.
frank j vanderlugt owns and operates 2 Avianflusymptonsnowcom

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By: Frank Vanderlugt

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