Bird Flu Causes, Symptoms and Treatments for Bird Flu

By: james sameul

What is a BIRD FLU?

A deadly disease that affects birds. First discovered in Italy in early 1900s and now exists worldwide. A serious strain of Flu that only normally affects birds. Small number of cases in South East Asia where this has transferred to humans. Bullae Large cyst-type structures in the Lungs. ...

All birds are thought to be susceptible to the avian influenza, though some species, such as wild ducks, are more resistant than others. Domestic poultry, such as chickens or turkeys, are particularly susceptible.

Causes of Bird Flu
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 36,000 people die of influenza in the United States each winter. And three or four times every century, a flu pandemic sweeps the globe, claiming millions of lives. That the flu can cause so much misery is a result of its ability to change quickly and unexpectedly, to outwit "best guess" vaccines, and to take the immune system by storm.

The terrifying prospect of a world ravaged by a bird flu pandemic, against which humanity has little or no defence, and the already colossal human costs in terms of lost lives and livelihoods, make much better headlines, so folks with an interest in the cause of bird flu will just have to find the information for themselves.

Symptoms of Bird Flu
When humans came down with H5N1 bird flu in Hong Kong in 1997, patients developed symptoms of fever, sore throat, cough and, in several of the fatal cases, severe respiratory distress secondary to viral pneumonia.

Those people who are infected with aggressive, or virulent, subtypes of the virus (such as H5N1) may develop complications such as pneumonia. Another serious complication is a condition known as acute respiratory distress syndrome, which causes life-threatening breathing problems due to the lungs filling with fluid rather than with air.

The initial symptoms of bird flu are very similar to other types of flu and include:
Fever, cough, sore throat & conjunctivitis.

Prevention of Bird Flu
Public concerns are growing over the spread of avian influenza in South Korea. Quarantine authorities are on alert as the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries confirmed Monday that the virulent bird flu virus, or H5N1, killed ducks at a farm in Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province. The ministry said 6,500 ducks at the family-run farm, 268 kilometers south of Seoul, were culled and buried over the weekend.

Treatment of Bird Flu
It is possible that antiviral drugs used to treat other types of flu may be effective in treating bird flu in humans.
Vaccines to protect humans against H5N1 viruses currently are under development. In addition, research is underway on methods to make large quantities of vaccine more quickly.
Oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu) and zanamivir (brand name Relenza) - antiviral medications used to treat regular flu - may be helpful in the treatment of bird flu.

However, their effectiveness against the H5N1 subtype of the virus is uncertain, and there are also concerns about the availability and cost of these medications. To have any effect, these medications need to be taken within 2 days of the symptoms first appearing.
There is evidence to suggest that the H5N1 bird flu virus responds to oseltamivir. This has led experts to suggest that it may also work against a pandemic strain.
However, there are also reports of partial resistance to oseltamivir by some flu viruses and tests are ongoing.

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