Paragraph on Bird Flu…. Humans under Threat – by Shanu

Bird flu, also known as the Avian flu, is an influenza which attacks birds. Birds are also constantly under threat from various strains of viruses.

These strains of viruses mutate that is they undergo a change in any gene or genes and affect human beings, which is fearful. In a typical case of a human being attacked by this deadly influenza is the person is unable to move because all the body muscles hurt, a high fever rages accompanied by a sore throat and the person also has difficulty in breathing.

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The eyes can’t be opened since they too get infected. This flu can lead to the death of the affected person as well. At least four strains have been identified of the avian flu which is potentially dangerous to humans. In 2005 the strain of virus identified as H5N1 mutated and turned into an epidemic infecting a huge number of people in Asia and Europe. If the infection remains uncontrolled it can turn pandemic as well, meaning that it may spread throughout the world.

Causes of bird flu:

Since the virus strains can get transferred from birds to human, the flu turns into an epidemic through poultry workers and farmers. Many people eat under-cooked meat and poultry products like eggs, so they are more likely to be affected. Health workers and family members come in contact with patients and are possible victims. A great chance of the bird flu spreading into other countries is because many people travel to these infected areas and return back home carrying the infection along with them. The infected person is not taken to a proper medical centre for treatment when the symptoms are noticed.

Prevention from it:

At the time when the bird flu epidemic has spread into certain areas, people should avoid visiting these places. Direct contact with birds must be avoided. It may also become necessary to eliminate birds on a large scale to prevent the infection from spreading. This was done in some countries in Asia during the 2005 attack. Bird & poultry products must be properly cooked before consumption; it may be better still if poultry products are totally avoided as long as the epidemic lasts.

Poultry hygiene status must be continuously monitored and there should be no overcrowding in the poultries. People arriving in different countries from infected areas should be quarantined at airports and other landing places to be checked for the infection. Health workers must be provided with proper anti- infection gear when they are working in these areas, helping the patients.

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Patients must be brought under treatment with anti viral drugs, which have been seen to be most effective if administered within 48 hours of exposure. The patients should be kept in isolation to avoid the spread of the infection. In case the treatment is not prompt there is a chance that the infection can lead to other life threatening diseases like pneumonia or multiple organ failure in the patient.

Conclusion:

Governments and social service agencies must keep a strict watch on the general conditions prevailing in poultries. The farmers and owners of birds and poultries must be taught and be made aware of the adverse effects of bird flu and how to minimize the chance of occurrence of such an infection.

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