Avian Flu is a strain of flu that originates in birds
(poultry), and can be transmitted to humans and other animals.
As of March, 2006, research studies indicate that there
are two strains of avian flu. (see latest news below). The human cases are rare, and mostly associated with those that
have had direct contact with infected birds.
Other animals such as cats have been tested as infected,
and the conclusion is that the cats ate an infected bird.
There is some concern that the Bird Flu can be
transmitted through airborne infection, primarily during actual contact with an infected bird. Most of the
human cases are traced to direct contact with birds.
Additionally, some cats have developed the same strain of flu after eating infected
There is a world wide concern that this flu will mutate and become infectious
to humans, and thus create a "pandemic".
At this time, (spring 2006), the risk to humans is minimal if not in contact with
And health organizations all over the world are doing continual research and monitoring
on the circumstances.
There have been cases reported in SouthEast Asia (primarily), other East Asia
countries (China, etc.), North America, Europe and Africa.
Below are links to the US Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization
and other resources for information.
See WHO link or US Govt. Pandemic Flu sites for countries affected.
The "Basic Advice" seems to be avoid poultry markets (esp. common in East Asia),
and be certain that all of your poultry products are cooked thoroughly. Cooking thoroughly WILL KILL the virus in its
Avoid touching birds (swans included) that might be infected.
Keep cats and dogs on leash and indoors.
(Cat cases reported from Europe in early 2006, presumeably ate infected birds).
However, see the links below for specifics.
At the end of the page is a basic info document that I have constructed that
is a sort of "Frequently Asked Questions" document.
See the below links for further information.
The World Health Organization has a very complete section on Bird Flu, and is
spearheading the efforts to research and prevent, as well as educate on the possibilities of a pandemic.
MOST CURRENT UPDATES:
TWO STRAINS OF BIRD FLU FOUND
H5N1 virus responsible for the current virulent strain of bird flu has evolved into two genetically distinct strains, US scientists
They fear this could increase
the risk to humans - and complicate the search for an effective vaccine.
The US team analysed more than 300 H5N1 samples taken from infected birds and people between
2003 and summer 2005.
Details were presented to the International Conference on Emerging
Infectious Diseases in Atlanta.
Prior to 2005 every known human case of bird flu had been caused
by a particular subtype of the H5N1 virus, which infected people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
But the latest analysis by the US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention identified a genetically distinct variant which appears to have emerged last year, infecting people in Indonesia.
Courtesy BBC news.
CATS FOUND TO BE INFECTED WITH BIRD FLU
Some cats in Europe have been found to be infected with the Bird Flu. It
is presumed that these cats ate an infected bird.
Thus, it is being recommended that people with cats should keep them on leash
Email for press information link or copies of the press information/articles.
This was widely reported in the Interational and National news medias, so stories should be widely archived.
Winter 2005-2006 has seen significant increase in bird flu cases, particularly
in Europe, Turkey and Africa.
To see a list of all of the infected countries, see the World Health Organization
link below or the US Pandemic Flu site.
BIRD FLU VACCINES QUESTIONED
Vaccines for birds developed with the purpose to prevent
Bird Flu (Avian Flu) are being questioned by scientific and political communities
for their actual effectiveness.
The scientific community is concerned that the strain is mutating so fast that
the vaccines may not be effective. The WHO (World Health Organization) is already working on a second vaccine.
The first was developed in 2005.
The political community is expressing the same concern; additionally that the
vaccine might actually MASK THE SYMPTOMS instead of PREVENTING THE SPREAD of the flu. This primarily from the experts
of the British Govt.
Email me for links to press information or copies of the articles/press information
from Jan-March, 2006.
RESEARCH FOR HUMAN VACCINES TO PREVENT BIRD FLU January 2006
A research study is starting in the US to develop a human vaccine to fight the
Funded by National Institute of Health, USA.
LINKS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON BIRD FLU
NORTH AMERICA and INTERNATIONAL