Avian Influenza – Causes and Symptoms

Avian influenza is a disease that was once a very hot conversation on television and other mass media. Bird flu is an infectious disease called a dangerous disease, even sufferers must be isolated so as not to transmit the disease to others in the vicinity.

However, behind the uproar of news that emerged about the bird flu infection, did you know the understanding of bird flu, as well as the causes of bird flu and bird flu symptoms?

Bird flu is a viral infection that spreads from bird to bird then spread to humans. Bird flu is a very deadly disease. This disease infection continues to spread among poultry in Egypt and in parts of Asia. Although there are many types of avian influenza, the most common type of concern to health workers is the H5N1 and H7N9 avian influenza viruses which are the most common causes of bird flu.

The virus that causes bird flu is found in wild birds. Most wild birds look healthy and are not sick. But wild birds can easily transmit the viruses that cause bird flu to farmed poultry, such as chickens, ducks, and ducks. The virus that causes bird flu can cause poultry to become very sick.

Usually the virus is not transmitted from birds to humans. But since 1997, several people have contracted deadly bird flu. Of course this is a phenomenon that is quite surprising for medical experts and those who work in the world of health. Most of these infections have developed in Asian countries, those who have had direct contact with poultry raised on farms. Given the level of danger from this bird flu virus, anyone is advised to be vigilant.

Causes of Bird Flu

The cause of bird flu is the bird flu virus. After wild birds infect farmed poultry, the bird flu virus can easily and quickly spread among hundreds or thousands of birds. Diseased birds must then be eradicated to stop the spread of the bird flu virus.

People who come in contact with sick chickens, ducks or ducks are more likely to contract the bird flu virus. The bird flu virus can be transmitted through bird droppings and saliva on surfaces such as cages, tractors, and other agricultural equipment.

Humans can become infected with bird flu after coming into contact with infected birds. The following should be avoided to avoid contracting the H5N1 virus:

  • Touch infected birds
  • Touch or breathe dirt and other secretions from infected birds
  • Preparing infected poultry for cooking
  • Cut infected birds
  • Handling birds for sale
  • Visit the market that sells live birds

Eating cooked poultry or eggs does not cause infection. However, one must cook poultry to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius, cooking eggs to hard white and yolk.

Bird droppings can contain bird flu viruses, and they can contaminate food, equipment, vehicles, shoes, clothing, soil, dust and water. Animal feet and bodies can also carry the H5N1 virus.

Symptoms of Bird Flu

Someone who is infected with H5N1 will develop serious symptoms. The incubation period is 2 to 8 days, and can take up to 17 days. This compares with 2 to 3 days for human seasonal flu.

Symptoms of bird flu are things to watch out for. Symptoms of bird flu in the early stages include high fever, more than 38 degrees Celsius, symptoms of the lower respiratory tract, and less often, symptoms of the upper respiratory tract. The following signs and symptoms of bird flu can occur, as reported by Medical News Today, as follows:

  • Dry cough
  • Hoarseness
  • High fever, more than 38 degrees Celsius
  • Nasal congestion or runny
  • Pain in bones, joints, and muscles
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Chest pain
  • Cold and cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • Stomach ache, sometimes involving diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Bloody phlegm

Some patients experience symptoms of bird flu in the form of pneumonia and difficulty breathing. This happened about 5 days after the first bird flu symptoms appeared. The patient’s condition can deteriorate rapidly, causing pneumonia, multiple organ failure, and even death.

Why worry about bird flu?

In some cases, bird flu is transmitted from one person to another, not from birds to someone. But this is very rare. The bird flu virus can make people sick of other types of flu viruses. Although only a few hundred people are known to have been sick due to bird flu, more than half of them have died.

Experts are also worried because the bird flu virus is very different from other flu viruses where our body has no immunity to the bird flu. Having no immunity means that our body has a hard time fighting off viruses. This also means that anyone, including those who are declared to be very healthy, can be seriously ill if they catch bird flu.

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