Bird flu is a disease caused by a specific type of avian (bird) influenza virus, the so-called H5N1 virus. This virus was first discovered in birds in China in 1997, and since then has infected 125 people in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia, killing 64 of them. It is spread by infected migratory birds (including wild ducks and geese) to domestic poultry (primarily chickens, ducks, and turkeys), and then to humans. Some infected people have developed abnormal clotting profiles resulting in excessive bleedingwhich was a frequent clinical symptom in the deadly so-called Spanish influenza of 1918-19, which killed more than 100 million people worldwide.
Certainly the virus that causes bird flu could mutate so that it could be transmitted from human to human.A new type of a virus that causes bird flu appeared in Japan. Do not assume that any form of bird flu killed the ducks or geese, because these birds can die from many other causes.
The poultry industry tests continuously to make sure the virus that causes Asian bird flu doesn’t get a foothold in commercial poultry flocks. At present, the virus that causes Asian bird flu does not easily infect humans. The H5N1 virus which causes bird flu struck a human being for the first time in 1997. It appears that the H5N1 bird-flu virus causes a massive immunological response against the virus in those with the strongest immune systems.
The bird flu virus is dangerous because it is so ever changing in its nature – often mutating within a very short period of time. Originating in Asia, the bird flu virus has spread throughout the world but still remains confined to areas other than the United States. But, it is only a matter of time. Whether you are watching the latest story on Oprah or MSNBC regarding bird flu it will scare you – guaranteed!
Each flu will have symptoms and a bird flu symptom is not really any different, they can just get worse. If you have the bird flu you will be looking at the same types of symptoms, there will be the sore throat, a cough, perhaps some sneezing, a fever but you may also suffer from a more serious bird flu symptom like respiratory distress or even failure. This type of bird flu symptom could cause death.
You do need to be aware of each bird flu symptom but you should not get too panicked as soon as you feel yourself getting all congested. Chances are that you are not suffering from a bird flu symptom but only a regular cold symptom. The bird flu is not at the stage, at least not in the North America or Europe where we need to be getting all worked up.