Bird flu is the common name of avian influenza to recognize its way of spread, and that is through bird to bird. There are a lot of types of this viral infection but the most persistent and is still known to exist is the deadly strain H5N1. This infection continues to plague poultries in parts of Asia as well as Egypt. This infection is classed to be under HPAI or highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. This means that it is not only deadly to many types of birds but to other mammals as well as to humans, should they be infected by birds that carry the virus. From 1997, this disease has already claimed about 60 percent of the total numbers of infected humans.
Avian flu is not easily contagious though but can be caught through close contact with infected birds or their droppings. It can be through cleaning and/or plucking birds that are infected with the disease, inhalation, bathing or swimming in contaminated rivers, and handling of fighting cocks. Fully cooked birds like chicken or its eggs do not count to this. The cases as to human to human spread have never been established since discovery, though.
Complications of bird flu or avian flu
- Mental status alteration
- ARDS or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
- Collapse of the lungs
- Failure of organ system
- Shortness of breath
Prevention of Avian Flu
Avian or bird flu can be prevented by reversing its causes, specifically the way it gets spread
1. Stay away from birds, especially in affected areas. The only known means of spread of this viral infection is through close contact with birds and infected humans or animals. Thus the best means to prevent it too is through keeping a distance from them. Touring poultries, swimming in rivers which can contain droppings of infected birds, or plucking and cleaning infected birds should be avoided especially where outbreaks have been known.
2. Avoid going to heavily populated live markets of birds. Inhalation of this virus is among the most known means of getting an infection of H5N1 so the best means to prevent it is to stay away from a live market where infected is difficult to pick from those that are not. There are surely companies and agencies that can do so and they are the best choice of buys.
3. Keep self from traveling in outbreak countries. If a travel buff, steer clear from China, Egypt, Bangladesh and other nations where the outbreak has been reported.
4. Get annual checkups. Make sure that you are healthy and strong from any viral infection. Get checked annually even if you feel strong and healthy. Some virus and bacteria take years before they get known so it is better to be thorough and safe.
5. Live healthy. Have a balanced lifestyle – eat good food, drink lots of clean water, get plenty of rest, and stay away from vices. So far, this is the most natural means of preventing all kinds of diseases and health conditions.