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Influenza viruses are constantly changing and mutating. Today the current risk to the world population in that the H5N1 strain of avian bird flu will adapt and start to spread from human to human.
If the H5N1 strain does adapt and start to spread, the concern for health and government officials is since humans do not have any natural protection or immunity against the new strain of bird flu, we will quickly be in a worldwide pandemic.
There have been bird flu epidemics in the past and governments have been quick to quarantine poultry operations and destroy thousands of birds, in order to prevent more contamination.
Obviously these measures have had a dramatic financial impact on poultry farmers. Some governments have stepped in to compensate farmers for economic losses and this could be a key strategy to prevent the spread of bird flu.
What are the avian flu symptoms in birds?
Avian flu symptoms in chickens, ducks and other birds are highly contagious and can be fatal. The virus spreads quickly amongst birds through nasal, respiratory and fecal matter.
Look for these avian flu symptoms in birds: Decrease in bird's activities, decline in egg production, swelling of the face with blue colored combs and wattles, breathing problems, diarrhoea, muscle paralysis and sudden death.
If the H5N1 virus does mutate and is passed from human to human the public should be aware to take simple but effective precautions. Some precautions should include, avoiding people with the flu, quarantining yourself if you have the flu and conducting proper hand washing and sneezing etiquette.
What are avian flu symptoms in humans?
Avian flu symptoms in humans can range from traditional and typical flu like conditions such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and may also include sore eyes or eye infections, pneumonia, respiratory diseases, chest pains, organ failure and other life threatening conditions.
If you suspect that you have the avian flu, you should have a blood test to confirm the results and take precautionary measures to ensure that you do not spread the virus.
About the Author
Peter Gomes is a member of Sage Group and a contributer to http://www.avian-flu-symptoms.com