Bird Flu- Prevention and Treatments Bird flu is turning out to be a terror for Asian countries; the epidemic is growing rapidly which is a matter of concern for the U.S. Government. The recent out break has the potential to become a human flu pandemic. As per recent updates Bird Flu has taken the lives of almost 50 people in Southeast Asia and resulted in the deaths of millions of poultry. The virus can be a serious threat if it develops the capacity of easy transmission from one person to another. Bird flu symptoms Bird flu symptoms are like any other flu's. The symptoms worsen to become a severe respiratory disease that has been fatal in a high percentage of cases. In February 2005, researchers in Vietnam reported human cases of bird flu in which the virus infected the brain and digestive tract of two children. Both ultimately died after a few days of struggle. Hence, this proves that the bird flu may start like any other flu but more often than not is fatal. Fortunately, no human cases of bird flu have been seen in the U.S. or North America. Yet as a precaution, the CDC is asking people who have traveled to East Asia to see a doctor if they develop flu-like symptoms. It's important to tell the doctor about having visited these areas so the proper tests can be done. Prevention is better than cure. Avian Flu Treatment The current bird flu strain is immune to older flu drugs. However, the drug remains sensitive to the newer flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. However, supplies remain short. Unfortunately there's only one plant making Tamiflu - and the U.S. isn't the only country desperately trying to build up a stockpile. Other countries, such as Britain, have also started stockpiling the drug. Antiviral drugs, some of which can be used for both treatment and prevention, are clinically effective against influenza. But these drugs too have some limitations. Avian Flu Vaccine At least four months would be needed to produce a new vaccine, in significant quantities, capable of conferring protection against a new virus subtype. Such a vaccine will not be easy to produce, as the virus kills the chicken eggs usually used to mass-produce flu vaccines. One approach being contemplated is to produce the vaccine from a similar (but not egg-killing) strain isolated from ducks in Singapore in 1997. Related Articles - treatment, human flu pandemic, bird flu, Email this Article to a Friend! Receive Articles like this one direct to your email box!Subscribe for free today!
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