Alternative NamesBird flu; H5N1
What is Avian Influenza
Avian influenza (H5N1) is an infectious disease that affects birds. However, it can also affect mammals, but it happens quite rarely. All species of birds are amenable to this infection, but domestic birds are more vulnerable to avian influenza what can end up with epidemy.
Signs and symptoms
When a human is affected by the avian flu, the first symptoms can be the following: productive or dry cough, headache, diarrhea, nasal catarrh, malaise, difficult breathing, sore throat, muscle aches, fever (38°C and more).
Lately there were some reports of H5H1 development by people in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific. Approximately 400 people were infected by the virus of avian influenza, ca. 60% of those people didn’t survive.
Various strains of the flu virus lead to influenza. Every virus is able to mutate, that is why if you weren’t sick before, it doesn’t mean that next time the new virus form will also give you a wide berth. The infection is contracted per droplet from a sick person and indirectly (e.g. when someone drinks from an infected glass). Veterinaries and people who keep poultry are in the high-risk group.
Knowing some easy tips how to avoid the avian influenza will help you survive the avian influenza pandemia.
While shopping put on a special mask or a respirator. That will help you avoid airborne virus. Give up eating in restaurant or ordering food home. When using shopping trolleys or automatic cash terminals wear throwaway gloves. Do not drink from one’s drink container or eat from others plate. Use a tissue when opening various doors. While traveling avoid standing close to other people, do not shake hands or kiss. Avoid attending movies or theaters, shopping centers, supermarkets; do not go to banks, schools or post offices; do not travel by planes, buses, trains. Do not stand to close to people who sneeze or cough.
At work use throwaway tissues to open doors and tabs. When using office equipment put on throwaway gloves. It is better to work from home. But if it is impossible bring your private tea cup, wear special mask or a respirator, encourage your colleagues to prepare a first aid kit.
While treating avian flu various antiviral medications are used.
Medical Treatment includes:
- Isolating the patient at home or in a hospital.
- The doctor in charge prescribes antivirals.
- These antivirals must be taken in the next two days after the symptoms have appeared.
- If the patient has high fever, he can be given febrifuge.
- If the patient suffers from joints pain, he can be given pain relievers.
- In case the patient has cough, antitussive may be prescribed.
- If the patient has a running nose, decongestants and antihistamines can be given.
- A blocked nose can be treated with the help of steam inhalations.
- If there are problems with breathing, the patient can be given an oxygen inhalation along with intensive care.
Home Treatment includes:
- Have rest.
- Drink more water or juice.
- If you have a headache or muscle pain, you can take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do not give Aspirin to children.