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Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: Bird flu


 tiadesai - Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:20 am

just wanted to know how infectious bird flu is?
have read that the virus has mutated itself and now it is contractable between human beings also
how much of this is true
does anyone have any idea of it
i mean how come the virus has been trasnfered from birds to humans?
 Michele P, RN - Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:49 am

Bird flu is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza viruses. These flu viruses occur naturally among birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the viruses in their intestines, but usually do not get sick from them. However, bird flu is very contagious among birds & can make some domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, & turkeys, very sick & kill them.

Symptoms of bird flu in humans have ranged from typical flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat & muscle aches) to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases & other severe & life-threatening complications. The symptoms of bird flu may depend on which virus caused the infection.

Infected birds shed flu virus in their saliva, nasal secretions, & feces. Susceptible birds become infected when they have contact w/contaminated excretions or surfaces that are contaminated w/excretions. It is believed that most cases of bird flu infection in humans have resulted from contact w/infected poultry or contaminated surfaces.

The risk from bird flu is generally low to most people because the viruses occur mainly among birds & do not usually infect humans. However, during an outbreak of bird flu among poultry (domesticated chicken, ducks, turkeys), there is a possible risk to people who have contact w/infected birds or surfaces that have been contaminated w/ excretions from infected birds. People should avoid contact w/infected birds or contaminated surfaces, & should be careful when handling & cooking poultry.

Hope this helps. Good luck :)

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