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Bird Flu is spreading around the world as fast as wild birds fly. The birds are carrying flu with them as they migrate. They infect local, non migratory birds that in turn infect local chickens, ducks, turkeys and so on.
Bird flu is spread to humans primarily by contact with chickens, ducks and other poultry. But it is also spread by contact with any other infected birds. So even if you live in the city, the local pigeons can carry bird flu to your window sill.
Humans appear to become infected with the virus not by eating infected poultry, but by contacting infected matter or preparing them for consumption.
Dust and viral particles seem to be a primary cause of human infection. "We believe those particles are inhaled and that's how people become infected." said Dick Thompson, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, in Geneva. He added, "It's very difficult to stop the movement of this virus now.
Children are particularly at high risk to bird flu because they may play where birds carrying bird flu may be found. And it is not only contact with the infected birds that is a problem. Feathers and feces carry the bird flu virus. So a child may contact pigeon feces on a window sill, walk through it on a city sidewalk, pick up some feathers or play with a neighbors caged bird.
Likewise you may walk through pigeon or other bird faeces and unknowingly transport bird flu into your home.
The World Health Organization advises that you should not keep pet birds, you should avoid contact with any live birds, feces, feathers, waste or dead birds. You should wash your hands and any clothes that may have come in contact with the bird flu virus.
They also advise that you remove your shoes outside your house to prevent bringing any bird flu virus into the house. To clean your shoes, put plastic bags over your hands, cover your mouth with a cloth and wear goggles. Clean them with soap and water before you bring them into the house.
The World Health Organization advises that you do not eat dead poultry. Now that is a rather amazing warning since it seems that most people do not eat live chickens. And since many people in the west buy their chickens, dead, in supermarkets, they are unable to determine whether the chicken, in a live state had bird flu or not. They must either take the appropriate cautions about eating poultry or not eat it at all.
All chicken must be cooked so that there is no pink meat. The internal temperature must reach at least 70 degrees centigrade or above. The World Health Organization says that such meat is safe to eat.
But the person preparing the food and the preparation area are at risk from bird flu. So you may prepare the food well, but contaminate your kitchen with bird flu.
The eggs in your refrigerator can be dangerous. Eggs can also carry bird flu virus on their shells and inside their shells. You should wash all eggs before putting them there and if you break one, you should thoroughly cleanse the area.
The World Health Organization says that hard boiled eggs that have been boiled at least 5 minutes and whose internal temperature has exceeded 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Public health officials have recommended that people in regions known to harbor avian influenza get vaccinated against human forms of influenza. Practically speaking, the way that it is spreading, that is everywhere.
There are 4 influenza drugs: amantadine and rimantadine which help fight certain strains of H5N1 infections, and Tamiflu and Relenza which are both drugs classified as neuraminidase inhibitors and are said to help against most strains of H5N1. In any case, it is wise to note at least the cautions in this article and adhere to sanitary practices in general.
The World Health Organization has published a great deal of information about bird flu that it wishes to be spread by NGOs and the media. This article is written to support that effort. You are asked to spread this information as far and as wide as possible. Because sales of antiviral drugs, which might confer protection, have outpaced manufacturers' ability to make them, the information in this article is particularly important, so please spread the word. Publish it and pass it on to your friends and family. It may save someones life even your own.
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2005 Gary Granai. You are free to use material from this article in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site link. The attribution should read: Gary Granai is the Director of The Poland Chamber, Inc, http://www.chamberofcommerce.pl , an NGO that is actively disseminating World Health Organization Information about Bird Flu worldwide. You can read other information about Bird Flu at http://www.masterpage.com.pl. You can get information about the 4 influenza drugs: amantadine and rimantadine which help fight certain strains of H5N1 infections, and Tamiflu and Relenza that are said to help against most strains of H5N1 at http://www.qlbr.com/birdflu.