What is Bird Flu?
Avian Flu or Bird flu as it is commonly known is an infectious disease caused by Influenza A virus and its subtypes and strains. 14 strains of the same virus have been discovered till date. These viruses show a unique adaptation towards birds. The viruses are said to linger to galactose receptors of the respiratory tract of the birds.
Since these receptors are not present in humans, the viruses find it difficult to transmit themselves from one human to another rapidly as hey do in birds. However the predictions of the scientists are such that these viruses may start attacking humans after undergoing some mutation the same way as seasonal flu.
What are the Bird Flu symptoms?
The bird flu symptoms may be mild or severe. Usually the symptoms are similar to what one experiences when affected by seasonal flu. However very less population have been able to recover from bird flu avoiding death.
Initially the victim might have high temperatures of about 104 degree Fahrenheit. This stage lasts for about a week. After a week the temperature subsides. But in few cases prolonged fever is also a possibility. Fatigue leading to inability of free movement is another vital bird flu symptom.
Body ache with pain more concentrated in the legs and lower back, sore throat and runny nose are also common bird flu symptoms. Bird flu might also show its effect in a personís eye by causing severe infections such as conjunctivitis. Abdominal pains and diarrhea are also on the list of bird flu symptoms. Inflammation of lungs or commonly known as pneumonia is only an infection of secondary nature. Its characteristics are breathlessness, dry cough, chest pain etc. Often the victims of Bird flu die of pneumonia than any other reason.
Who experience severe symptoms?
The bird flu symptoms are said to be more severe in infants, individuals suffering already from other heart or lung disease, people over the age of 65 and smokers. The symptoms are also severe in people who are already suffering from other respiratory diseases like bronchitis.
Bird Flu Symptoms in Birds?
Birds are the primary carriers of this disease. It is an interesting fact that generally these birds donít show any symptoms even when are carrying the virus in their body. In few cases however characteristic bird flu symptoms have been noticed.
In some cases the death of the bird is caused by sudden failure of respiratory system. People in the profession of poultry farming must take such an incident as a warning signal and immediately consult a specialist to avoid the disease from spreading.
In some cases the birdís reproductive capacity is reduced and the number of eggs produced by it falls down tremendously. Loss of appetite and swollen head are few other symptoms.
1 If doubt arises regarding a bird among oneís stock for the infection of avian flu, the bird should be kept isolated from rest of the stock for the doctorís supervision.
2 In humans the symptoms are similar for flu and variety of other illnesses as well. Hence if itís not a flu season one could wait for the symptoms to subside before consulting a physician. During this period it is essential to take lot of fluids.
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