Bird Flu
        and You

                                                   Bird Flu Facts

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Bird Flu Facts

Michelle Oberton

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Only recently has the bird flu become such a widely publicized illness. Yet, in that time, it has raised fear in many and left everyone with unanswered questions regarding its transmission, symptoms and treatment. Bird flu is believed to be spread through an infected birds saliva, nasal extract and/or feces. Otherwise healthy birds may contract the illness by either coming into direct contact with an infected bird or through contact with a contaminated surface. Due in large part that the infected birds are migratory, there is growing concern that the bird flu may spread worldwide.

Humans can contract bird flu directly from an infected bird, but few cases have ever been noted on possible human to human infection. This does not mean that it is or is not possible, but rather that the exact ways of transmission are not yet all known. The current method of bird flu prevention is to eliminate the infected animals upon the determination that they are infected. In some instances, animals that are thought to be infected may also be destroyed on a precautionary basis. This is done in order to protect fellow animals and to prevent the public from contracting the illness as well.

Symptoms of bird flu may include those much like a common cold, which could make them difficult to diagnose. A fever, cough, sore throat, achy muscles, breathing problems and even possible pneumonia are among the symptoms thought to indicate a bird flu infection. Although no experts know for certain, these are the potential warning signs. The reason that so much uncertainty surrounds this ailment is because it is not yet fully understood and has not yet been thoroughly studied. As to whether it will continue to spread or will ever become the widespread illness that everyone fears is not known. The infected individuals immune system will have a large impact on the severity of their illness.

Treatment of bird flu infection usually includes prescription medication and the survival rate is 50% for those individuals that become infected. Once infected, the bird flu virus is believed to travel through the body quickly. This means that the onset of symptoms could be prompt and would call for quick action from the infected individual.

This article is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is not to be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice or a doctors recommendation. If any or all of the above symptoms occur, individuals should consult a physician for proper diagnosis and/or treatment.

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