The Avian Flu

"The Avian Flu and You"

An Avian Influenza is a viral infection found in birds, and contrary to many of the articles you can find today, the Avian flu is harmful to humans, who do not have immunity against it. 

Like any other influenza virus, this too has the ability to mutate into another form to easily infect humans, and such a mutation has the capability to start a worldwide epidemic.

In fact the Avian Flu first started out in pigs and quickly crossed species to infect birds. 

Farmers and other people working closely with poultry as well as people visiting other countries are put at a higher risk for contracting the virus.  This strain of the flu have been known to last for long periods of time, and this is contagious to the point where by touching a contaminated surface you can easily contract the virus.  Even if a bird fully recovers from the flu, it can still shed traces of the virus to other species.

Just like the seasonal flu, there are many different types of the avian flu virus which can all cause different symptoms therefore treatment may vary.  Some antiviral treatments can be prescribed to make the disease less severe but it is imperative that you take the medicine within 48 hours of when your symptoms start. 

The strain of the virus that causes the avian flu to appear in humans are resistant to some antiviral medicine, which means this cannot be used if an outbreak occurs.  In fact persons that are thought to be infected should be put in isolation. 

Doctors still recommend that people get the flu shot, so to prevent the avian flu from mixing with the common flu which would in turn create a new virus that would be even more prone to spreading. 

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