What Is The Avian Flu – Also Known As The Bird Flu?

The Avian flu is a virus carried by birds and spread through their feces and other secretions. Those most at risk are people who come into contact with infected birds. Of the people who have been infected, many are from families that keep chickens around the home.

There have been no signs of the Bird Flu in the United States as yet, and the virus is not easily transmitted from birds to humans. However, once confined to Asia, the Bird Flu has now been identified in other countries. Those that have been diagnosed with the Bird Flu have been in close contact with the infected poultry.

A trial vaccine is being developed for the Bird Flu, however since the virus is constantly changing there will have to be a vaccine created to the specific strain that is spreading.

Bird flu in poultry does not pose any food safety risk because it is unlikely a sick chicken would be slaughtered for consumption, and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs would kill the virus. Dr Judith Hilton, the head of microbiological safety at Britain’s Food Standards Agency, said salmonella poses more of a risk to consumers than bird flu. She added that people generally get flu through the respiratory system, not from what they eat. Dr. Hilton advises thorough cooking of poultry meat and eggs. If you cook your poultry and your eggs thoroughly, you would get rid of any viruses present.

The symptoms of the Bird flu are common flu like symptoms:

Fever
Aches
Pains
Chills
Sore throat
Diarrhea
Respiratory disease
Pneumonia

Precautions that should be taken are avoiding contact with live poultry. Do not keep live poultry at your residence. If you do come in contact with live poultry wash your hands very thoroughly. If you suspect you have come in contact with poultry and have flu like symptoms see your doctor immediately.