An Explanation of Bird Flu

Basic Bird Flu Information

Last week we put up two posts with bird flu information. After a few readers wrote in asking what bird flu was, I realized I had made the mistake of assuming everyone was familiar with the current bird flu issues so I hadn’t given you the basic bird flu rundown. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what bird flu means, you’ll find the following information helpful.

New Fears Regarding an Old Virus

Bird flu is nothing new. In fact, the virus has been around since the early 1900s, when it was first discovered in Italy. The virus didn’t cause concern, however, until it began infecting people and causing human deaths.

The bird flu, also referred to as H5N1, is not currently a serious threat. Less than 300 people have been infected with bird flu worldwide, but more than half of the people who have been infected by the virus have died.

As of right now, there is no evidence that bird flu can be transmitted from one person to another, but it’s still causing some real concerns. Because the bird flu is so deadly, experts are worried that there may be a serious pandemic if the virus mutates and is suddenly able to jump from one person to another. If this happened, it is possible that the virus could kill millions of people.

What Would Happen

If a person were to contract bird flu, symptoms would be similar to regular flu symptoms, but much more severe. Some bird flu symptoms include persistent fever, sore throat, cough, respiratory distress, and sore muscles. As the bird flu progresses, some victims could develop pneumonia and might experience organ failure. From what we know so far, chances of survival would be less than fifty percent.

Don’t Panic

It sounds bad, but as of yet there is no reason to panic. From what the world has seen, the bird flu cannot yet jump from one person to the next and there is no evidence that the virus is mutating. If and when the virus mutates, officials would try to contain the virus and would take cautionary measures.

The best way to deal with the bird flu right now is to stay on top of the issue and follow the news pertaining to bird flu. By staying informed you’ll be able to prepare should things start to take a turn for the worse.