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Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

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					1. What is Bird Flu (Avian Influenza?)

 Avian influenza, or “bird flu”, is a contagious disease caused by influenza virus that normally
  infect only birds
 There are two forms of the disease:
           Mild illness with hardly any clinical signs
           The highly pathogenic form which spreads rapidly and has a mortality rate of 50-
              100% in flocks often within 48 hours
 Infected birds shed the virus in their saliva, nasal secretions and droppings.
 Birds become infected when they come in contact with contaminated excretions or if they
  inhale the airborne virus.

2. How are humans infected?

 When you come in close contact with infected birds (e.g. domestic chicken, ducks…).
 Direct contact during;
      slaughtering
      de-feathering
      removal of viscera
      Close contact with infected birds or animals
      Eating an infected chicken that is not well at 70 Celsius.
      Eating eggs that have the virus and it is not cooked or boiled at 70 Celsius.


To date all infections have resulted from direct contact with infected poultry.
Transmission between people has been very limited to blood relatives in Indonesia, Vietnam,
China and Pakistan.

3. Is there a vaccine?

 Currently No
 However, vaccine development efforts are taking place and have been successful in mice.
 Series of clinical trials is under way

4. Which birds are affected?
Most commonly affected birds include;

Chicken               Ducks                     Other Animals that can be Infected are:
Geese                 Turkeys                      Cats
Guinea fowl           Quail                        Dogs
Pheasants             Swan                         Pigs
Pigeon                “Song birds”
Numerous wild birds

5. How are birds are infected?

Direct contact
 Infected birds shed large amount of viruses in their saliva, nasal secretions and droppings
 This contaminates areas around the sick birds

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 Healthy birds become infected when they come in contact with contaminated secretions or
   excretions or inhale the airborne virus
Indirect contact
 People’s clothes, shoes
 Motorbike, bicycles
 Manure, water, ponds

6. How long can the viruses survive in the environment?
 The virus (H5N1) can survive for 35 days in temperatures below 5°C
 Around body temperature (37 °C ) for 5 days (in droppings samples), surface, clothes

7. What are the symptoms of bird flu?
    1.   Fever more than 39°C (103°F)        6. limp or unable to move
    2.   Cough                               7. hard to wake up, quiet, or unresponsive
    3.   Sore throat                         8. stiff neck
    4.   Muscle aches                        9. eye infection
    5.   Difficulty in breathing             10. Seizure or convulsion

8. What drugs are available for treatment?
 Tamiflu is NOT a vaccine. It is an antiviral being used to treat patients suspected or having
  been infected with the H5N1 virus.
 Tamiflu may also be given to care providers of patients infected with the avian influenza virus
  which will be in close and permanent contact with the patient.
 Your agency is responsible for having its supplies available.

9. Can I continue to eat chicken?
Yes
   If you practice good food safety
   Avian influenza virus dies at a temperature of 70 Celsius or higher.
   Poultry cooked to a temperature of at least 70 0C
   Fully cooked (no “pink” parts)

10. Is it safe to eat eggs?
Yes – But cooked fully.

Eggs can contain the virus on the:
 Shell
 Whites
 yolk

 Eggs should be washed in warm water and soap before cooking
 Eggs should not be eaten raw or partially cooked (no “runny” yolks)
 Do not use raw or soft-boiled eggs in foods that will not be cooked




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11. What you need to know and do
 Get influenza vaccine (flu shot) every year. It lessens the chance of a new virus being created
  that is highly contagious.
 Do not touch or handle sick birds
 Be careful when rubbing nose, eye or mouth after touching birds, wash hands first.
 Do not remover feathers or slaughter or handle infected birds at home
 Children should not be allowed to play with birds
 Always wash hands with soap and water after handling birds. Use warm water and soap; rub
  your hands together vigorously for 30 seconds.
 Always wear a mask while handling birds.
 Cook chicken and eggs well before eating. Raw meat or eggs should not be eaten
 Avoid going to places where chickens are slaughtered or sold (in endemic phase)
 Chicken droppings should not be used as fertilizer
 Report unusual death of birds to local authorities
 Immediately consult doctor if you develop flu like symptoms after contact with birds

12. How do I prevent spread of Flu?
 Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze - throw tissue away after use
 Wash your hands with soap and water after you cough or sneeze (if no water, use alcohol-
  based hand cleaner)
 Avoid close contact with people who are sick (in endemic phases)
 When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick
 If you get flu, stay home from work, school, and social gatherings
 Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread through your hands.

13. Things to remember while cooking poultry products

 Always wash hands:
     • before preparing food
     • in between handling raw and cooked foods
     • after handling raw poultry and eggs

   Wash all surfaces and utensils with warm water and soap
   Do not mix raw and cooked foods
   Separate raw meat from cooked or ready to eat foods
   Do not use same chopping board or knife for preparing raw meat and vegetables or salads
   Do not place any meat or cooking utensils back on the same plate or surface it was on before it
    was cooked




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posted:2/5/2010
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Jun Wang Jun Wang Dr
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