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Avian flu ( bird flu)
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Avian flu ( bird flu)

Sam  Views: 810  3 min read

Avian flu also known as bird flu is a viral  infection that can infect not only birds, but also humans and other animals. Bird flu viruses infect other birds, including chickens, other poultry, and wild birds such as ducks. Most forms of viruses are confined to birds. However, it can affect humans and other animals that come in contact. Avian influenza virus is a public health threat that has the potential to cause serious illness and death in humans.

Risk factors

  • a poultry farmer

  • a traveler visiting affected areas

  • exposed to infected birds

  • someone who eats undercooked poultry or eggs

  • a healthcare worker caring for infected patients

  • a household member of an infected person

There is no evidence that the avian influenza viruses can infect humans through properly cooked food. A few influenza  human cases have been linked to consumption of dishes made with raw, contaminated poultry blood.

Symptoms

Often, the symptoms are similar to the seasonal flu, such as

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Muscle or body ache

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Eye redness (or conjunctivitis)

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Diarrhea

In some cases, bird flu can cause serious complications and even death.

Prevention

  • Avoid Sources of Exposure

The best way to prevent infection with avian influenza viruses is to avoid sources of exposure  whenever possible. Infected birds shed avian influenza virus in their saliva, mucous and feces. Human infections with bird flu viruses can happen when enough virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled. This can happen when virus is in the air (in droplets or possibly dust) and a person breathes it in, or when a person touches something that has virus on it then touches their mouth, eyes or nose.

  • Wash your hands

This is one of the simplest and best ways to prevent infections of all kinds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you travel.

  • Avoid cross-contamination

Use hot, soapy water to wash cutting boards, utensils and all surfaces that have come into contact with raw poultry.

  • Cook thoroughly

Cook chicken until the juices run clear, and it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 F (74 C).

  • Steer clear of raw eggs

Because eggshells are often contaminated with bird droppings, avoid foods containing raw or undercooked eggs.

  • Bird flu vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration has approved one vaccine to prevent infection with one strain of H5N1 bird flu virus. This vaccine isn't available to the public, but the U.S. government is stockpiling it and will distribute it in the event of an outbreak.


Sources and References
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Sam
Sam
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