How to Treat Bird Flu

Bird flu is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These flu viruses occur naturally among birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the viruses in their intestines, but usually do not get sick from them. However, bird flu is very contagious among birds and can make some domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys, very sick and kill them.

Bird flu, or avian flu, is currently of great concern worldwide. Governments are greatly concerned of a pandemic of bird flu that could kill millions.

Tamiflu is the main drug for the treatment of bird flu. Tamiflu can lessen the effects of bird flu, speed up recovery. Tamiflu can also minimize the effects of bird flu to the point that a patient may survive the virus when, without Tamiflu, the attack would have been fatal. Tamiflu is the only drug that is this effective against the bird flu virus.

These drugs must be taken within two days after the appearance of symptoms, something that may prove logistically difficult on a worldwide scale, even if there were enough to go around. Because they’re in short supply, it’s not entirely clear how flu drugs would be allocated if there were a widespread epidemic.

Avian refers to birds and flu is the common name for influenza. Avian flu is influenza that infects birds, including wild birds such as ducks and domestic birds such as chickens. Avian flu is caused by influenza virus type A. There are 15 subtypes influenza A, two of which affect birds. These are called the H5 and the H7 subtypes.1

These viruses are known as “highly pathogenic (disease-causing) avian influenza” (HPAI). They produce a severe disease in birds and are rapidly fatal, leading to bird flu epidemics.

Currently, wearing a mask is not recommended for routine use (e.g., in public) for preventing influenza exposure. In the United States, disposable surgical and procedure masks have been widely used in health-care settings to prevent exposure to respiratory infections, but the masks have not been used commonly in community settings, such as schools, businesses, and public gatherings.

A new treatment for human infections of bird flu claimed to be more effective than Tamiflu has been developed by Chinese scientists.

Like the drug made by Switzerland-based Roche, the new medicine is a neuraminidase inhibitor which inhibits an enzyme called neuraminidase and prevents the virus from leaving the cell and spreading to others.

People who develop flu-like symptoms (e.g., cough, fever, muscle aches) within ten days of traveling to an area of the world where there is a known outbreak of bird flu should contact their health care provider immediately. When traveling in these areas, avoid live poultry markets. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. People who handle birds that may be infected should wear protective clothing and breathing masks.

Giving aspirin to children and teenagers who have influenza can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome. Children or teenagers with the flu should get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, and take medicines that contain no aspirin to relieve symptoms.

Bird flu treatment is directed at reducing the severity not preventing it. Bird flu treatment therefore is the domain of natural health.

Herbs, Homeopathics and Acupressure have been used for centuries to aid your ability to fight infection and prevent them. What they do is arm your body to fight better and protect itself from attack.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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