Understanding Bird Flu

March 12, 2006

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1. Origin

Like us, even birds can catch a flu – blame it on those viruses. This bird flu (or avain flu) is harmful, and different species react to it in different ways. For some birds, the symptoms are mild, while others drop dead. It`s difficult to stop the virus from spreading because birds fly from one country to another carrying the virus with them.

2. How it spreads

It`s believed that the virus spreads through dead, infected birds, contaminated water and infected bird droppings. Scientists say that the migratory birds pass the virus to the birds that we keep in farms. Also, the virus can live longer at cooler temperatures.

3. Human Infection

From what`s been happening, we now know that the virus(H5N1 virus) can affect human beings also. Scientists say that the virus can change its form a bit – this is called mutation – therby having the ability to spread from one human being to another. As of now, we can contract the virus if we touch an infected bird, its droppings and also via contaminated soil.

Did you know?

you can eat chicken and eggs as long as they are well-cooked at a temperature above 70 degrees centigrade. Don`t eat them raw. Till today, there are no cases of the virus spreading through eating.

 

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