Bird Flu: Avian Influenza.
lots of people discussing about bird flu or avian influanza. Since pet
cockatiel.com is about keeping pet cockatiel (birds), I think it is necessary
for me to have this information for my visitors. The information that I
provide here is some fact about bird flu and some simple step to prevent it.
However, for bird keeper, you can read more about my opinion of the bird flu
and keeping birds.
Following are some key
facts about avian influenza:
influenza (also called avian flu, bird flu or duck flu) is caused by a
different type of influenza virus that can infect domestic poultry flocks and
wild birds. It is present in birds in many parts of Asia and is spreading in
birds across to Eastern Europe.
influenza can be spread to humans by birds infected with the virus. It may be
possible for the virus to be spread by close human contact to infected birds.
To date there have been 117 human cases of avian flu in four countries
(Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand). * the number will increase from time
flu initially develops in the same way as an ordinary seasonal flu. Its
symptoms include sudden fever, cough, sore throat and muscle pain. Other
symptoms may include diarrhea, headache and convulsions.
contact with an infected bird, even ones that look healthy, can cause you to
be infected. (Infected birds may not show any symptoms of illness.) The virus
can be spread by contact with the meat, eggs, blood, saliva, feathers and
feces of infected poultry; but thorough cooking of poultry meat will
inactivate the virus.
possible rare instances of human-to-human transmission of avian flu, health
officials have stated that there is no evidence the virus has evolved into an
easily transmissible form. However, the concern is that if the avian flu virus
changes so that it can be transmitted easily from human-to-human, it could
spread quickly and cause a global epidemic (pandemic).
effective against a potential pandemic avian flu virus are not yet available.
Vaccines are produced each year for seasonal flu, but these will not protect
against contracting avian flu. Although a vaccine against the current strain
of avian flu virus is under development in some countries, no vaccine is ready
for commercial production and no vaccines are expected to be widely available
until several months after the start of a pandemic.
antiviral drugs (Tamiflu and Relenza) can reduce the severity and duration of
illness caused by seasonal flu if given within 48 hours after symptoms begin.
Information is limited, but health officials expect the avian flu virus is
also susceptible to these drugs. These drugs are in short supply and some
countries are trying to stockpile doses for use in a pandemic. Current global
production capacity falls far short of the demand expected in the event of a
Some tip to prevent bird
1. Avoid Physical Exposure to infected Birds
all contact with chickens, ducks or other poultry and their waste.
not transport, eat or prepare poultry from affected areas.
your hands well with soap and water after any contact with the body or feces
of any bird or animal.
you walk on soil contaminated with the feces of any bird or animal, remove
your shoes outside the house and clean them of all dirt, and immediately wash
your hands well with soap and water
you have any exposure to the body or feces of any bird or animal -- even if it
is only by walking on contaminated soil -- check your temperature for 7 days
at least once daily. If you develop a high temperature (above 37.5°C or 99.5°F),
visit a doctor or the nearest health care facility immediately.
protect your family, teach your children to wash their hands with soap and
water after every contact with a bird or animal and do not allow your
into contact with any birds, their feathers, feces and other waste.
birds as pets.
2. Avoid Exposure to infected food.
The virus is killed by heat. To avoid the spread
of the virus through food, follow these good hygienic practices when handling
and cooking poultry meat and eggs:
poultry should be thoroughly cooked before consumption. Thorough cooking of
poultry meat will inactivate the viruses. Temperatures of 170 to 180 degrees
Fahrenheit or 76.7 to 82.2 degrees Celsius are recommended. Never eat raw or
semi-cooked poultry products.
eggs should be washed while in their shells, and then thoroughly cooked prior
to eating. They must not be eaten "runny". Do not use raw or
soft-boiled eggs in food preparations that will not be heat treated/cooked.
raw meat from cooked or ready-to-eat foods to avoid contamination.
not use the same chopping board or the same knife.
not handle both raw and cooked foods without washing your hands in between and
do not place cooked meat back on the same plate or surface it was on before
your hands after handling frozen or thawed raw chicken or eggs.
If you want to check out about some news
regarding asian bird flu pandemic, you can check it out from Malaysia
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