Avian Influenza H5N1 (Bird Flu)

Information from healthetopics about the growing threat we face.



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There are a variety of avian influenza viruses that can affect both wild and domestic fowl. Some of theses " bird flu " viruses make the birds sick and others seem to have little effect on their health. One particularly lethal strain of this type of  avian flu virus has found its way from wild water fowl to domestic fowl such as chickens and ducks. This was certainly of concern to those that raise chickens and ducks, but of little concern for the rest of us.

This all changed in the 1990's when a few humans became infected with the very deadly H5N1 strain  of a bird flu. So far there have been only a few cases of transmission of bird flu from human to human, but viruses are constantly changing and the concern is that this virus will mutate into a form that is easily transmitted from one human to another. This would be catastrophic given the lethal nature of this particular virus. The resulting deaths from the pandemic that could result might be like no disaster mankind has ever known.

Although viruses mutate quite rapidly the specific changes needed for easy transmission from human to human may not ever occur, but we have seen this type of change before. Many people do not realize that the 1918 flu pandemic (Spanish Flu) that swept through the world  also was originally a bird flu and it rapidly jumped to humans! With the way we travel around the world today, there would be little we could do to stop a rapid global epidemic resulting in the death of millions.

World governments and the World Health Organization are closely watching any changes in the current patterns of avian flu infections. Of particular concern is the fact that migratory water fowl travel thousands of miles which is a factor over which we a powerless to control. In the meantime all infected  domestic flocks are destroyed as quickly as possible for bird flu prevention and any infected humans are given what limited medical care there is to assist them in fighting off the bird flu virus.

Symptoms of bird flu H5N1 in humans start out much like other flu viruses: cough, fever, muscle aches and respiratory difficulty. But unlike most other viruses this can quickly progress on to severe respiratory and other life threatening conditions. There are a couple of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu that may help bird flu prevention and treatment, but this has not been proven. Our biggest hope is the rapid development of an effective vaccine against bird influenza H5N1.

If there are any signs of increased human to human transmission and a possible global threat, you should make sure you have a basic supply of emergency food and water which can be expanded in case the threat grows. You also should have a rechargeable crank type light and a rechargeable crank type radio (these are good items to have on hand anyway).

In the event of an impending pandemic of the bird flu you should also have virus filtering masks of at least N95 quality (FFP2 in non USA countries). Note: The commonly found paper masks are not sufficient! (You can order masks below.)  There are now nanofilter masks that appear to offer even greater protection than the N95 masks or FFP2 masks. These virus filtering masks are critical to have on hand for bird flu prevention because the bird flu virus is spread by inhaled droplets when someone sneezes or coughs (similar to common viruses). It appears that having one of the antiviral drugs like Tamiflu would also make sense, but they will quickly disappear from the marketplace if panic sets in, so you would have to act quickly to get a prescription for it. (Production of Tamiflu is quite complicated and can not be quickly ramped up to produce more.) Hand washing is very important (possibly followed with alcohol wipes or alcohol gel). If contact with an infected person is necessary eye protection is required, because the bird flu could enter the body through the tear ducts if a avian flu infected person coughs or sneezes near you. Rubber disposable gloves are also necessary. If greater contact is required with a bird flu infected patient a disposable long sleeved gown and cap should also be worn for bird flu prevention.

                                    N95 mask from 3M (Can be ordered below.)

While the potential threat is real, it does not make sense to rush out and create a completely stocked emergency shelter at the present time, but many items (such as virus filtering masks) will quickly become unavailable if a true threat arises. Therefore get some of the basics now and pay very close attention to any dangerous bird flu developments.


For up to the minute news and info from around the world about bird flu Visit Here ! (NewsNow)



     The U.S. Government's War on Bird Flu: Speeches, Testimony and Advisories Documenting the Official Response to a Potential Avian Influenza Pandemic  (Paperback)  

                          Beat the Flu - How to Stay Healthy through the Coming Bird Flu Pandemic        (Downloadable ebook) 

                This book is packed with advice to keep you healthy. Beat the Flu also explores what to do if society breaks down following a major pandemic.                                               


> > > > Order Highest Quality Bird Flu Virus Filtering Masks HERE. < < < <


Although as accurate as possible, the information on this page may not relate to your particular medical condition and is not intended to be used in the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Always refer to your healthcare provider before making any changes in your treatment plan. In addition any sites to which we link may or may not contain information appropriate to your medical condition.

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