Everyone seems to be talking about Avian Influenza (Bird Flu). As the germ experts, we’ve assembled some of our best minds to provide you with a primer on the Avian Flu. Below are the 10 things you and your family should know about the Avian Flu.
- The current bird flu (H5N1) affects birds and does not easily transfer to humans. So far, the spread of H5N1 virus from person to person has been limited and has not continued beyond one person.
- It is possible that the present bird flu may mutate and begin transmitting between humans. There is no means of determining when such a change will occur.
- According to the CDC, there has been no evidence to date of this strain on the North American continent. Click here to see the latest number of Avian Flu cases reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- The reported symptoms of avian influenza in humans range from typical flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches) to eye infections (conjunctivitis), pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, viral pneumonia, and other severe and life-threatening complications.
- There has been some work in vaccine development against the current bird flu strain, however, since the human strain doesn’t exist yet, a vaccine cannot yet be developed.
- Normal cooking temperatures recommended for cooking poultry will destroy the H5N1 virus. Temperatures of 70 degrees C (160 degrees F) completely kill the virus.
- As is the case with “regular” flu, proper hand washing, which should consist of washing with soap and water for 15-20 seconds, can help stop the spread of avian flu germs.
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that may have become contaminated with flu secretions, using products that are EPA registered disinfectants, will help kill flu germs.
- Getting immunizations will keep your family in top health. Flu shots are easy, cost little, and save lives. Make sure you and your kids get the shot suggested by your doctor.
- Pets and wild animals are susceptible to flu viruses. Be careful with pets, be sure they regularly see the vet, and avoid contact with wild animals. Always wash hands after touching animals or animal waste. 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.
You many also click here to contact our team for more information or if you have questions about the Avian Flu.