Bird Flu: Chicken Owners Worst Enemy
Every chicken owner knows that bird flu, also known as avian influenza is an incredible deadly disease for your pets if it is not prevented and watched for. It is the number one killer of chickens in Asia and other parts of the world. Bird flu was first found in chickens in China and quickly became a very widespread disease, which killed millions of chickens, destroyed many businesses and dropped the chicken industry to an incredibly low level.
The worst part about the avian flu is that it also can effect humans, which makes it a very dangerous disease. This disease can be passed from chickens to chickens, chickens to humans and humans to chickens, that makes it very contagious and is the reason the health sectors take this disease very seriously. Avian flu is not just a bad cold, it can kill an entire group of chickens within a week and if it is passed to a human it can spread quickly to hundreds because they very likely will not realize they have contracted it.
The amount of time between exposure to the disease and when it presents symptoms is generally between three and five days. Up until the disease because noticeable, the person will likely just be showing signs of a common cold; a fever, cough, sore muscles and a sore throat. Sometimes the only way to tell that you actually have the bird flu is if you have conjunctivitis. If someone has seen these symptoms and ignored it, thinking it was the common cold, it will likely lead to the more intense symptoms. They will start experiencing viral pneumonia and difficulty breathing known as respiratory distress. These are the most common causes of deaths.
This deadly disease can be prevented by taking certain precautions and if everyone involved with handling chickens follows the health and safety guidelines given to them by the health authorities. The World Health Organization takes this disease very seriously and when outbreaks occur they will trace the infection and places anyone in proximity of the disease under quarantine. After an area is quarantined nobody will be allowed in or out of this area until the sick have been given treatments. There are two antiviral medications that if taken in 48 hours or less after seeing symptoms, can reduce the severity of the disease. One of these medications can also be taken by people who have been in contact with someone who has the disease to prevent it from spreading to them. Anyone with severe symptoms should be put on a breathing machine.
Some ways to protect yourself from the bird flu is to avoid markets with live birds if you are traveling. If you are handling birds you should wear protective clothing and breathing masks if you feel the birds may be infected. Definitely avoid eating undercooked meat as these will spread the disease more easily. If you feel cold like symptoms coming on and know that you have been in contact or have eaten chicken, you will want to get to the doctor as soon as possible to rule out the chance that you have gotten the bird flu.