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Thursday, July 28, 2011

When to seek medical Advice

See your doctor immediately if you develop flu symptoms, including a fever, cough and body aches, where bird flu occurs. Be sure to let your doctor know when and where you were traveling and whether you visited any farms or open-air markets.
       Doctors have rapid tests to identify the flu virus, but the tests can’t distinguish between avian flu and other influenza a virus. For that reason specimen’s from anyone with a suspected case of bide flu would be sent to state health labs or the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) from analysis.
Medical Adviser 


          Most people with bird flu have signs and symptoms of conventional influenza. Some also develop life-threatening complications such as viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, which causes the air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluid rather than with air, leading to severe breathing difficulties.

           But the greatest complication of bird flu in still hypothetical-the emergence is a new viral strain that spreads easily from person to person. If a person were simultaneously infected with human and bird flu viruses, the re-assortment of genetic material could produce an entirely new subtype with a preponderance of human genes. This could make the virus highly contagious and, with no natural immunity among the world population, especially lethal.

             So for this hasn’t happened a few cases of person-to-person transmission have occurred, officials fear it’s Just a matter of time before avian viruses figure out a way to spread easily among people.


In August 2005, the U.S. government said it would purchase millions of doses of a prototype bird flu vaccine from a French vaccine maker. The announcement came after the government said tests showed that the vaccine promoted an immune system response in healthy adults. The vaccine still needs to be tested over several months in adults older than 65 and in children. The vaccine at least 6 to 12 mouths to produce useful amounts.

           Right now, the primary treatment option is the flu drug oseltamivir (Tami flu), a neuraminidase inhibitor that works by preventing the virus from escaping its host cell. Its not clear how effective Tami flu will ultimately prove against (A) H5N1. In southeast Asia, resistance to its seems to be developing quickly. Another antiviral flu drug, Relenza, may be an alternative.

    But both drugs must be taken within two days after the appearance of symptoms, something that may prove logistically difficult on a world wide scale, even if there were enough to go around. Because they are in short supply, it is not entirely clear how flu drugs would be allocated if there were a wide spread epidemic.


The international effort to prevent the spread of bird flu is multifaceted, focusing on the health of both birds and humans. Measures to help to control the virus among the domestic poultry include:

Culling. Since 1997, when the first human cases of bird flu appeared, hundreds of millions of sick or exposed birds primarily chickens have been destroyed. In many cases, affected farms were also quarantined. Although some have questioned the wisdom of such wholesale slaughter as well as the methods used to cull birds may re-burned or buried alive- the WHO considers this approach the first line defense against avian viruses.

Surveillance programs. Some nations have instituted strict vaccination and surveillance programs for poultry farms and markets, taken steps to prevent bird smuggling, and put in place programs that quarantine new birds until they are proved healthy and that require poultry farmers to disinfect boots and tires.

Banned birds. Many countries have banned or restricted the importation of birds and hatching eggs from regions with bird flu epidemics. In February 2004, the CDC banned the importation of poultry into the United States from most of the Asian nations.

Signs and symptoms

 Bird flu viruses are complex, with a number of subtypes and strains that vary considerably from one another. In the broadest terms, however, the viruses are classified as having a low or high chance of causing disease (Low or high pathogen city).

Among bird’s the effects of low pathogenic viruses are usually minor-ruffled feathers or reduced egg production. But highly pathogenic forms cause severe disease, including respiratory distress, and almost 100 percent mortality in susceptible species. In some cases, domestic birds may die the same day symptoms appear. 

Scientist do not yet know just how these subtypes affect humans but highly pathogenic viruses appear to cause the most serious problems and the greatest number of deaths in both people and animals. 

Influenza Virus
Attract Human
Although the exact incubation period for bird flu in humans is not clear, illness seems to develop within one to five days of exposure to the virus. Some times the only indication of the disease is a relatively mild eye infection(conjunctivitis). But more often, signs and symptoms of bird flu resemble those of conventional influenza  including 1) cough 2)fever 3)sore throat 4)muscle aches.

People with the most virulent type of bird flu virus A) H5NI- may develop life-threatening complications, particularly viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress, the most common cause of bird flue related deaths.

Recommendations for Travelers

If you’re traveling to Southeast Asia or to any region with bird flu outbreaks, consider there public health recommendations:
How to Effect Travelers
● Avoid domesticated birds. It possible-avoid rural areas, small farms and especially any close contact with domesticated fowl.

● Avoid open-air markets. These can be colorful or dreadful, depending on your tolerance level, but no matter how you see them, they’re often breeding grounds for disease.

● Wash your hands: One of the simplest ways to prevent infections of all kinds hand washing is also one of the best when you’re traveling, alcohol-based hand sanitizers which don’t require the use of water are an excellent choice. They’re actually more effective than hand washing in killing bacteria and viruses that cause disease, commercially prepared hand sanitizers contain ingredients that help prevent skin dryness. In fact, use of these products can result in less skin dryness and irritation than hand washing. Not all hand sanitizers are created equal, however, some “waterless” hand sanitizes don’t contain alcohol. Use only the alcohol-based products.

● Watch your kids. Keep a careful eye on young children, who are likely to put their hands in their mouths and who may not wash thoroughly. 

● Steer clear of raw eggs. Because eggshells are often contaminated with bird dropping, avoid mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, ice cream, and any other foods containing raw or undercooked eggs.

● Ask about a flu shot. Before traveling, ask yours doctor about a flu shot. It won’t protect you from bird flu, but it may help reduce the risk of simultaneous infection with bird and human flu viruses.  

Preparing Poultry:

            No human cases of bird flu have been linked to eating poultry, although in at least on instance, the H5N1 virus was found in a package if frozen duck. Because heat destroys avian viruses, WHO officials don’t consider cooked poultry a health threat. Even so, it’s best to take precautions when handling and preparing poultry, which is often contaminated with salmonella or other harmful bacteria.

● Wash well carefully wash cutting boards, utensils and all surfaces that have come into confect worth raw poultry in hot soapy water. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling poultry and dry with a disposable towel.

● Cook thoroughly cook chicken until the Juices run clear and it reaches an internal temperate are of 180 F. Avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs or any products containing them, including mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce and homemade ice cream.

The A BC of influenza viruses


All influenza viruses are divided into three types , A, B and C depending on the virus structure. Type A is responsible for lethal influenza pandemics whereas type B causes smaller localized outbreaks. Less common and more stable than other strains, type C has milder symptoms. Influenza B and C are usually found only in humans. But type A influenza infects both people and animals, including birds, pigs, horses, whales and seals.

Influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two surface proteins

(1)              Hemaggleetinin  HA
(2)              Neuraminidase   NA

Influenza Virus Structure

        Fifteen distinct HA Subtypes and nine NA subtypes exist, But they can combine to form a number of other subtypes, some of which normally are specific to a single species. For example, subtypes H1N1,H1N2 and H1N3 usually cause influenza in humans, whereas H7N7 and H3N8 viruses cause disease in horses. At least 15 flu subtypes offect binds, the most virulent of which is H5N1. Until recently, avian subtypes have rarely been found in humans or in animals other than pigs.

Type A influenza viruses are further divided into strains, which are constantly evolving. And it is exactly this-the ability of influenza viruses to changes their genetic make up and to swap genes indiscriminately-that makes them so unpredictable and potentially deadly.

Bird Flu Virus
Faster than you can say Antigenic:

All living things change, but influenza A viruses change quickly, constantly and sometimes cataclysmic-ally. This takes place in two ways:

Antigenic drift: These are small permanent, ongoing attentions in the genetic material of a virus. Because viruses are not able to repair genetic errors that take place as they reproduce, new strains are continually replacing old ones. Once you have a particular strain of flu, you develop antibodies to it, but those antibodies won’t protect you from new strains. In the same way, the flu vaccine you received last season won’t ward off this years bug.

Antigenic shift: This occurs when influenza A subtypes from different species a bird and a human, for example- trade and merge genes. The result is an entirely new strain, different from either of the parent viruses. Because no natural immunity to the new strain exists, it can spread quickly causing widespread illness and death. And when one of the original subtypes is a human influenza virus, the new virus has the ability to spread easily from person to person and the potential to become a global epidemic. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bird flu viruses and Causes:

Different Categorize Influenza

Viruses are masters of inter species navigation. Mutating rapidly and often grabbing S the genetic material of other viruses, they can jump from animals to humans with a quick flick of their DNA. Sometimes, as in west Nile fever the transfer occurs through an intermediate host such as a mosquito. But viruses can also make the leap directly.

Since the 1980s, the list of diseases that have hitchhiked directly from animals to people has grown rapidly-antivirus, SARS, monkey pox and, most recently, avian influence, commonly called bird flu. With the exception of HIV/AIDS, perhaps none of these illnesses has more potential to create widespread harm than bird flu does. 

I people, bird flu usually being much like conventional influenza, with fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches, but bird flu can lead to life-threatening complications. So far, bird flu is hard for humans to contract but health officials warm a major flu outbreak could occur if the virus mutates into a form that can spread easily from person to person. The grimmest scenario world is a global epidemic to rival the flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919, which claimed millions of lives worldwide. In the main time, researchers are trying to sort out options for a vaccine. But flu seems to be developing resistance to the flu drug Tami flu. And a French vaccine that promoted an immune system response but still needs flu there study. 



Lying in bed with chills, a spiking fever and that run-over-by-a-truck feeling, you are not likely to care much about the habits and history of flu viruses. But epidemiologists do care and with good reason.

Each winter, an average of 36000 people dies of influenza in the United States. 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 on both the small and the grand scale is a result of its ability to change quickly and unexpectedly to outwit “ best guess” vaccines, and to take the immune system by storm. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

How humans get Bird Flu

Migratory water fowl and ducks in particular carry the viruses that cause bird flu. Often unaffected themselves, the host birds can spread the infection to susceptible species, especially domesticated chickens, turkeys and geese, resulting in severe epidemics that sicken and kill large number of birds sometimes in a single day.

How humans get Bird Flu
Avian viruses generally don’t affect humans but in 1997 an outbreak of bird flu in Hong Kong infected 18 people, six of whom died. Since then, human cases of bird flu have been reported in the Netherlands, Canada and through out Asia. Most were traced to contact with infected poultry or surface contaminated by sick kids.

The genetic scrambling that occurs in antigenic shift explains how a disease that normally affects a bird or animal can suddenly turn up in humans, often, flu viruses that cross the species barrier originate in areas where people live in close proximity to chickens and pigs. That is because pigs are susceptible to infection with both avian and human viruses and so are an ideal “ mixing bowl” for genes. 

But at least some bird flu viruses don’t need a third party. Instead they shuffle and rearrange their genetic material directly in humans. That seems to be the case in most instances of human acquired bird flu: people become sick after direct contact with infected birds or bird-contaminated surfaces, not from contact with other animals. 

Bird flu viruses

Direct bird to human transmission works like these:

Wild birds shed the virus. Infected migratory waterfowl, the natural carries of bird flu viruses, shed the virus in their droppings, saliva and nasal secretions. The virus spreads to domesticated birds. Domestic poultry become infected from contact with these birds or with contaminated water, feed on soil. They may also catch the disease the same way human contract conventional flu by inhaling the airborne virus. Bird flu spreads quickly and lethally within a flock and is inadvertently transported from farm to farm on tractors and other equipment on cages, and on worker’s shoes and clothing. Heat destroys the virus, but it can survive for extended periods in cool temperatures.

Markets provide pathways to humans. Open air markets, where eggs and birds are often sold in crowded and unsanitary conditions, are hotbeds of infection and spread the disease into the wider community. Cock fighting, rampant through out much of Asia, has also been implicated in the spread of bird flu fighting roosters are often trucked long distances and smuggled across borders. At any point along the way, humans may pick up the virus through close contact with sick birds or contaminated surfaces. An ailing bird can shed the virus in its feathers as well as in droppings, and some people have contacted bird flu simply by touching an infected chicken or fighting roosters.

Influenza virus

The case of world wide travel has the potential to spread bird flu around the globe, although that hasn’t happened yet. Scientists don’t think that migratory birds are carrying the virus from continent to continent because outbreaks haven’t followed traditional flyways. Instead, outbreaks seem much more likely to spread locally through well markets contaminated clothing and equipment and smuggled birds.