Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

1. Is there a difference between the Bird (Avian) Flu and Human Flu?

Yes, the current bird flu affects birds and does not easily transfer to humans. Human flu originated as a bird flu, but changed over time to possess the ability to spread from human to human. Both bird flu and human flu are variations or strains of influenza A Virus.

Additional Information: The Flu is named or identified by a specific sequence of proteins, HA and NA, that are located on the outer surface of the virus and enable it to infect individuals and cause disease. The HA protein provides the virus the ability to gain access to a host cell and multiply. The NA protein controls the release and spread of virus particles from the host cell to infect other cells. All combinations of the two proteins occur in birds, but only three combinations currently exist that affect human to human infection. They are the H1N1 strain that caused the Spanish Flu of 1918, the H2N2 strain that caused the 1957 flu outbreak and the H3N2 strain that caused the 1968 epidemic.

2. Are humans catching the Bird Flu?

So far, there have been very few people infected with the bird flu, and almost all of those who have been infected were from close contact with infected birds, such as children playing on the ground of poultry farms.

3. Do Lizol Brand Disinfectants kill Bird (Avian) Flu?

Lizol Brand Disinfectant Wipes and All Purpose Cleaners do make efficacy claims against Influenza A Virus of which Avian Influenza, bird flu-H1N1 & H5N1 are both strains of Influenza A. Based upon this similarity we believe that disinfectants claiming efficacy against Influenza A will inactivate all type A viruses. Lizol Brand Disinfectant Spray has recently been granted Federal EPA Approval against the H1N1 strain of Avian Influenza for use in areas where poultry or food processing takes place.

titlehough claims against the particular bird to bird contagious strains (H5N1)are not made nor allowed to be made per an EPA Mandate, organizations such as the US CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC) recommend these two easy steps to help stop many infectious diseases:

  1. CLEAN YOUR HANDS OFTEN—Keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to keep from getting sick and spreading illness.
  2. ROUTINELY CLEAN AND DISINFECT SURFACES—Cleaning with soap, water and scrubbing removes dirt and most germs. However, using a disinfectant cleaner (registered with the Federal EPA) kills germs, giving even better protection.

4. Can experts predict if and when the current Bird Flu will infect humans?

No, there is no means of determining when such a change will occur. Destroying infected poultry populations may slow the progress, but migratory birds continue to spread the infection.

5. Has the Bird Flu come to North America?

According to the CDC, there has been no evidence to date of this strain on the North American continent.

6. How does Bird Flu spread?

Susceptible birds and in rare cases humans become infected with the Avian Flu strain upon contact with the infected bird’s saliva, nasal secretions and feces—however, the most common route of infection is by fecal particles being ingested from infected birds. These infected feces can then contaminate Food, soil, and drinking water, and spread on commonly touched surfaces such as cages, Food, shoes and clothing.

7. What is the definition of Pandemic versus Epidemic?

Epidemic disease typically is an outbreak of possible serious illness and death that occurs within a specific community/region that is above what would be expected for that disease. Pandemic is the same as epidemic but the region is significantly more widespread. For example; an epidemic would cover a region like the United States where a pandemic would affect the population of the entire globe.

8. How do seasonal flu vaccines work?

The flu "shot" uses inactivated (dead) virus particles, that cause the body to produce protective antibodies against a specific strain or strains. The nasal vaccine uses a live but weakened flu virus that cannot cause the flu. These natural antibodies make it impossible for the flu virus to enter your cells, and prevent the replication and spread to other cells and people. No current vaccine has been developed for the current (H5N1) version of bird flu.

9. Has a vaccine been developed against the current (H5N1) strain of Bird Flu?

titlehough there has been some work in vaccine development against the current bird flu strain, the strain that professionals feel will develop in humans will be slightly different. Therefore, since the human strain doesn’t exist yet, a vaccine can not yet be developed.

10. Will the medication TAMIFLU®* prevent the spread of Bird Flu?

titlehough scientists believe this medication will reduce the symptoms and severity of the illness, potentially helping to save lives, it is not a means of preventing the illness from spreading to others.

11. In general, how can I help my family stay healthy?

There are seven basic steps that the CDC feels can help keep families healthier during flu season and throughout the year.

HANDWASHING—Keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to keep from getting sick and spreading germs. For more information visit www.cdc.gov/cleanhands or www.Lizol.com/images/handwashing.pdf.

REGULARLY CLEAN & DISINFECT SURFACES—Cleaning with soap and water, and scrubbing removes dirt and most germs. However, using a disinfectant cleaner cleans surfaces and kills germs—giving even better protection.

HANDLE AND PREPARE FOOD SAFELY—Clean hands and surfaces often when preparing food. Don’t cross-contaminate one food with another. Cook foods to proper temperatures. Refrigerate foods promptly. For more information visit www.fightbac.org/heatitup.cfm or www.isitdoneyet.gov

GET IMMUNIZED—Getting immunizations are easy, low cost, and saves lives. Make sure you and your kids get the shot suggested by your doctor. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/nip or www.cdc.gov/travel/vaccinat.htm or www.cdc.gov/flu

USE ANTIBIOTICS APPROPRIATELY—Antibiotics don’t work against viruses such as cold and flu. Antibiotics should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. For more information visit www.cdc.gov/getsmart

BE CAREFUL WITH PETS—Pets should routinely be cared for by a vet. Babies and children under age 5 should be watched carefully around pets and animals. Always wash hands after touching animals or animal waste. For more information,visit www.cdc.gov/healthpets

AVOID CONTACT WITH WILD ANIMALS—Wild animals can carry diseases and pass them to you and your pets. Keep your house free of wild animals by not leaving any food around, and keep garbage cans sealed. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/hantavirus

12. Do I need to use an antimicrobial soap when I wash my hands?

Typically a liquid soap and water used to thoroughly wash hands (approx 20 seconds) is enough to clean off dirt and germs from the skin. Occasionally, antimicrobial soaps are helpful by providing an added level of protection against bacteria, especially if the hands are soiled from raw food preparation or when changing a child’s diaper.

13. Does cooking infected poultry kill the Bird Flu?

Yes, normal cooking temperatures recommended for cooking poultry will destroy the virus. Temperatures of 70 degrees C (160 degrees F) completely kill the virus.