Avian Influenza
There are more than one strains of the influenza virus. In fact, recently we have heard of many different flues that can be contracted. The Avian Influenza or the H5N1 virus is an influenza A virus that occurs primarily in birds, and in fact is highly contagious and deadly to birds. And because birds are one of the most migratory species, it is highly spreadable. And while the Avian influenza is most common among bird, since 2003 there have been an increasingly number of people showing signs of having been infected with this strain of flu as well.

The majority of human cases have been found in primarily in people that deal directly with poultry and other such contaminated places.

And while the cases have been sparse, scientists feel that the Avian Influenza can be particularly infectious to humans, because there is little to nothing you can do about it. Because it is so rare in humans, it has been difficult to create an immunology against it.

If the Avian Influenza were to spread in humans, doctors fear that there would be a worldwide influenza pandemic. No one can accurately predict when a pandemic might occur, but it does have scientists in a struggle trying to find a way to prevent it for as long as they can.

The other dangerous aspect of avian influenza is that you can not diagnosis or detected by symptoms alone, a laboratory test is required. The laboratory test is simple, a quick swab of the inside of you nostril is collected and then sent to the laboratory.

If it does turn out that you have a strain of the avian flu, most prescription medicines that are used to treat common influenza viruses should work in treating the avian flu as well. But it is likely that these perception drugs may be resistant to the avian flu virus. And unfortunately the seasonal flu vaccine is not a sufficient solution in helping to prevent the avian influenza.

A question that may be on your mind now: Can i get the avian influenza virus from eating or preparing poultry or eggs? And be at ease, the answer is no. There is currently no scientific evidence that links eating poultry or eggs to the contraction of the avian influenza virus.

Really, the only human cases have been in people that have been in direct contact with infected poultry or surfaces that have been contaminated with the secretion of infected birds. And even if you do come across an egg from a bird who once was contaminated with the virus, properly cooking it will kill any of it. And just to remain safe these tips were released by the FDA:

1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.

2. Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry from contaminating other foods.

3. Use a thermometer to make sure you cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Cook eggs until whites and yolks and firm.

But be assured, United States Government carefully controls the imports of foreign and domestic goods. In 2004, they put a ban on the importation of poultry affected by the avian influenza virus.