Bird Flu
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                                                   Bird Flu Pandemic Phases

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Bird Flu Pandemic Phases

Pandemic Zone

They will help you save hours of frustrating, wasted searching, and let you zero in on the best material on this subject - like this article you're reading. Go on... Bird flu is a disease caused by a specific type of avian (bird) influenza virus, the so-called H5N1 virus. This virus was first discovered in birds in China in 1997 and since then has infected 165 people, mainly in Asia but now also Turkey, bringing it closer to the west. It has killed 83 people worldwide since 2003. It spreads by infected migratory birds to domestic poultry. Millions of birds have been killed to try and stop the spread of the virus. Humans who have been infected have had close contact with infected birds.

So far, there have been no cases of human-to-human transmission. Scientists fear it is only a matter of time before the H5N1 strain mutates into a pandemic form that passes easily between people, similar to the 1918 influenza outbreak that killed millions. Nations around the world are scrambling to prepare for a bird flu pandemic. Worst-case scenario could leave millions sick and any where from 5 million to 1.5 billion people dead around the world. There is little immunity to this new strain of influenza. Our health care system would be overwhelmed.

The World Bank, which has estimated that a bird flu pandemic lasting a year could, cost the global economy up to $800 billion. The economic toll on the world economy will be catastrophic.

Below is the World Health Organization's Pandemic Phases. We are currently at Phase 0, Level 2. Transmission from person to person has not been confirmed. When we enter the next phase-Person-to-Person spread you will be seeing a lot more information in the news about the bird flu pandemic. Once it reaches that phase it can start to spread around the world within weeks. Some people who become infected may not become ill, yet, they spread it to others without knowing it. Others may become ill and die within days. As the flu spreads we will see the government stepping up their efforts to contain it including limiting air travel, quarantines, school and business closures, and public events canceled.

For the time being your best defense against bird flu is to stay informed and prepare for an eventual bird flu pandemic.

WHO International Influenza Pandemic Phases

Phase 0: The Inter-Pandemic Phase The time between two influenza pandemics. The longest period known was 39 years (1918-1958) Phase 0, Level 1: Novel Virus Alert A novel influenza strain has been identified in a human. Phase 0, Level 2: Human Infection Confirmed Confirmation that the novel strain has infected two or more persons but the ability for the strain to pass rapidly from person-to-person is not confirmed or is questionable. Phase 0, Level 3: Pandemic Alert - Person-to-Person Spread Confirmed The person-to-person spread of the virus is confirmed within a community with at least one of the outbreaks lasting for more than 2 weeks. Phase 1: Confirmation of the Onset of a Pandemic The novel virus is confirmed to be causing several outbreaks in one country and has spread to other countries. The mortality and morbidity of the infection is serious in at least one segment of the population. Phase 2: Regional and Multi-Regional Epidemics

Outbreaks and epidemics are occurring in multiple countries

Phase 3: End of the First Wave Pandemic

The first pandemic wave is likely to taper off with a change in season. The hiatus between the first and second pandemic wave is variable and could last from 3 to 9 months. Phase 4: Confirmation of Beginning of a Second Pandemic Wave The lethality of the second and subsequent waves depends on there being enough time to manufacture and administer an effective vaccine before the wave begins.

Phase 5: Confirmation of the End of the Pandemic

Once the number of susceptible persons falls below a threshold, the pandemic will cease.

Source: WHO

About the author:

To stay up to date on avian influenza, bird flu and the h5n1 virus visit The Bird Flu Index Find links to bird flu websites, official medical and government sites and full information about how the bird flu could turn into a global influenza pandemic. Search through the article archive for the latest bird flu articles. For the latest bird flu news visit The Pandemic Zone
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