What you should know about Bird Flu
Bird Flu or the Avian Influenza Virus is threatening to mutate into a deadly Human Virus that can potentially cause a pandemic. To date, bird flu is passed from bird to bird, and there are increasing instances of the virus passing from birds to humans. Should the influenza mutate and be passed from human to human then the spread of the influenza is likely to be rapid and global.
This site is intended to provide latest news and information on the bird flu virus and will continue to be added to, expanded, and updated.
Treat City Residents First
A scientist from the University of New South Wales has revealed that city residents should be treated before rural residents should a bird flu outbreak occur in Australia.
Bird Flu, or Avian Influenza is a flu type virus that has been around for the last 100 years. According to Wikipedia it was first identified in Italy. While the disease is found world wide, until recent times, the virus only affected birds, but the virus has been passed on to humans from infected birds. The people who have been affected by the virus are mostly those who have handled the infected birds. The mortality rate is around 50% for humans infected with the virus.
The current fear which is sweeping across the globe stems from the knowledge that should a person infected with the Bird Flu subsequently develop the influenza virus that we commonly find amongst humans, then the virus will mutate. Once the virus mutates, then it is highly probable that the virus will be able to be spread in airborne manner – much the same as the SARS virus. One particular strain of the Bird Flu, the H5N1 strain is the one that scientists are most concerned with at the present time and the one that they believe will be the most likely source of a worldwide Bird Flu pandemic.
Bird Flu Symptoms
Human bird flu symptoms are similar to Influenza symptoms, with the exception that some patients have presented with conjunctivitis, which is not a usual symptom. Human bird flu affects the respiratory system and leaves the sufferer more likely to develop pneumonia :
- sore throat
- aching or weak muscles
Unlike most influenzas, the human bird flu virus has a much higher mortality rate.
Protect yourself from the Human Bird Flu Virus
While Pandemic Influenza is contagious and easily passed from person to person, there are basic precautions that you can take, and personal hygiene practices that you can ensure that you follow to help you to protect yourself and your family from catching influenza.
Make sure that you cover your nose and your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and also that you turn your head away from people when you cough or sneeze.
If you have a cough or cold, use tissues and make sure that you throw them into the nearest bin once you have used them.
If you are sick, stay at home from work. If your children are sick, keep them home from school.
Try not to get too close to sick people.
Regularly disinfect surfaces that may harbour viral germs. This includes benchtops and doorknobs for example.
Make sure that you wash your hands often. Wash your hands frequently in warm water and using soap. If you are not able to access water, then use an antiseptic hand gel that contains alcohol.
Should a pandemic occur, you might want to consider wearing a face mask, however, there is no guarantee that wearing a face mask will stop you from catching influenza. Should you choose to wear a mask, you will need to wear it even when you are at home.