Bird Flu: Symptoms in humans, Caused and Treatment
Avian influenza is the flu caused by birds and basically infects animals only. But cases have also come across where human beings are also being affected by this. There are different types of bird flu in different people among which H5N1 and H7N9 strains are the most popular and common ones.
The foremost case of bird flu or avian influenza was found in 1997 in Hong Kong city. That was a peak outbreak of this disease across different parts of the world. It was severe since 2003 and was declared a huge pandemic all around. But now, there are cases of bird flu equal to no. It has become rare in the 2020 era. Bird flu can spread through saliva, mucus or faeces. When a virus gets into a human eye, nose, or mouth, humans are affected. There are also cases where the virus spreads from one person to another person. It is fortunately good to say that less than 500 death cases have been only recorded in the history till now.
What are the causes of bird flu ?
As discussed in the overview, bird flu affects the human body when they come in contact with the human eye, mouth, nose and other body parts.
Various other major reasons found are –
• Undercooked meat, chickens, eggs and other poultry.
• Keeping birds and other animals in an unhealthy and unhygienic environment
• Selling such animals in open-air markets
What are the various signs and symptoms that a person is suffering through avian influenza ?
The symptoms may change in the same person from time to time. Starting with the first week of infection to the fourth week and depending on the type, the major symptoms resembled in an infected person include –
➡️ Shortness of breathing
➡️ Mild, moderate or severe fever cough
➡️ Aching throat and muscles
➡️ Headache or body ache
➡️ Vomiting or nausea
➡️ Redness of eyes
➡️ Stuffy nose
When to understand that the situation is serious and I need to consult a doctor ?
If any of the above three or four symptoms so you come across , or if you regularly visit poultry farms or open-air markets , you must consult your doctor immediately. Also , if you come in contact through a person who is already affected from bird flu , you need a doctor check-up. –
Certain complications –
The life threatning complications associated with avian influenza include –
➡️ Kidney or heart issues
➡️ Respiratory issues
➡️ Lung damage
➡️ Pulmonary dysfunction
How to prevent bird flu ?
bird flu can be prevented by taking care of everyday activities and things we come across. They are –
➡️ Avoid direct contact or unprotected with wild birds and animals
➡️ Stay far away from birds who are sick or had died
➡️ Wash your hand with sanitiser every time before you touch any food
➡️ Do not undercook meats
➡️ Have a different utensil for non-veg
➡️ Avoid eating raw eggs
➡️ Cook eggs until the yolk and whites are firm
➡️ Seek medical check-ups from time to time
➡️ Keep designated chicken boots
➡️ Stay hygienic 24*7
What are the various myths across the society regarding bird flu
Fact – no, bird flu does not only spread through eating non-veg foods but also depends on various factors like the environment in which you live, your hygiene status, whether you visit farm areas and many other reasons are there which can affect a person.
Fact – this belief is not applicable to all. A person can be affected when he is physically and closely in contact with a sick bird. This is a high risk of the spread of avian influenza among humans but this is a secondary cause and there are many other causes which are a primary reason for spread of avian influenza among human being.
Bird flu can be diagnosed by either of the following two ways
1. Laboratory tests
2. Imaging tests
Treatments available –
For knowing about a perfect treatment for this, you must need to consult your doctor. They can provide you with various medications or drugs like Relenza, rapivab and others. Therapies and adapting to different and better hygienic lifestyle changes are also applicable in the treatment of bird flu.
Frequently asked questions –
Ans – bird flu majorly affects under 5 years of age children and above 60 years aged person.
Ans – it can survive from two weeks to two months depending upon how well you take care of yourself.
Ans – vaccines are currently only licensed in the us and prohibited in countries like India. But medications and other treatments can help very well to recover .
Ans – wild birds like ducks, chickens, shorebirds, and storks.