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How Humans Contract Bird Flu


									                                                  Presented by Daniel Toriola

     Bird flu is extremely lethal to human beings creating a 60% fatality rate. Bird flu is an infection caused by avian
     (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These flu viruses occur among birds naturally. When regular, it kills 36,000 people
                                                            a year.
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                                                     How Humans Contract Bird Flu
                                                               By Michael Colucci

    People all over the world have been going nuts for the very few people that the bird flu virus has
killed. The media is one of the reasons why people have been going nuts for the very few deaths the
bird flu has caused. However maybe the media is just serving as an early warning device to what could
be a much worse situation.

The media maybe has gotten paranoid of the fear of previous influenza virus spread that has caused
an epidemic way back. That’s why they are helping us have more of an idea of what could be the latest
big threat that could kill lots of people.

Thanks to the media we have more of an idea what causes the spread of bird flu influenza virus to
humans. The main cause of bird flu comes form the migratory birds such as ducks. These migratory
birds often don’t get affected but they spread the virus to domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys
or geese which becomes affected. When the virus spreads to these domesticated birds, they die in
large numbers often in just a day.

The bird flu virus was really not much of a worry for humans before. However because of certain
people getting infected and dying in 1997 it has become a cause for concern. Since, cases of bird flu
were reported throughout Asia, Canada and the Netherlands. Those people who were affected have
made contact to infected birds or those areas where the infected birds made contact.

The main reason why bird flu is able to infect humans is because of its property of antigenic shift.
Antigenic shift makes it possible for the virus subtype A to merge and create a new virus with a
different species.

People who are often affected with the bird flu virus live or work closely with pigs or chickens. Pigs
could be the cause of infection as well because they are a great place where both human and bird
virus often merge.

In some cases the virus directly transfers to the humans. Here is how that happens.

1.    The wild migratory birds shed their virus through their droppings, saliva or nasal secretions.
2.    The domesticated birds catch this virus through sharing water, feed or soil that has become

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                                               Presented by Daniel Toriola

contaminated or through inhaling the airborne virus. The flu will then spread quickly from one bird to
the other eventually leading to other flocks. The virus can be destroyed by heat but survives when it is
in a cooler climate.
3. The virus could then be spread to humans due to the unsanitary open air markets where the eggs
and birds are sold. Other reason a person may get infected is by touching an infected bird or its

If you are a person who works or lives with birds, it is best to remember to have a more hygienic
lifestyle to prevent the bird flu virus killing you.

Michael Colucci is a technical writer for - A site that offers articles and
resources on the bird flu.

(You are granted the right to reprint this article but the title and content must remain unchanged and
the authors name and contact information must be included.)

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                                      Presented by Daniel Toriola

                                             Bird Flu: A Few Facts
                                                By Dylan Miles

What is bird flu? What do you need to know about it? How does it affect you? Accurate and detailed
information is available freely from medical professionals and on the Internet. As a brief introduction,
below are some basic facts about bird flu.

1. What is bird flu?

Avian influenza, or bird flu, is a contagious disease that affects chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other
birds. Bird flu was first detected over 100 years ago and nowadays comes in a variety of about 20
strains. Most recently, outbreaks of the viral disease have been caused by the H5N1 strain, which is a
particularly deadly strain of the virus.

2. Can I be infected with bird flu?

The H5N1 strain of the flu, also called the Asian bird flu because it recently was detected in Asia, has a
small risk level for human beings because it cannot be transmitted from one human being to another. A
human being can only be infected from direct contact with a sick animal. It is possible that this could
change and that the strain could evolve into a virus that can be transferred from one human to another.
But this is not the case now.

3. Is there a treatment for bird flu?

Professionals currently researching the Avian bird flu claim that rimantidine and amantidine, two cheap
and popular flu drugs, have no power over the bird flu, but Relenza and Tamiflu, two other flu drugs,
can indeed effectively treat the viral disease.

4. Is there a risk of a bird flu epidemic?

Experts in this area suggest that rapid and extensive culling and quarantining of potentially infected
animals is the best way to prevent an epidemic. Another option is vaccination of birds against the bird
flu virus.

Dylan Miles, journalist, and website builder, lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.

                                                                                                           Page 3
                                 Presented by Daniel Toriola

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Bird Flu: A Few Facts
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