Why Is Bird Flu So Dangerous? Its Symptoms And Home Remedies

Avian influenza also referred to as bird flu is a viral infection which usually affects birds. A strain of this influenza virus- H5N1- is particularly dangerous and continues to affect poultry. The prevalence is high in certain parts of North Africa and Asia. Humans and other mammals can get infected with this virus from birds.

The first case of human infection was reported in 1997. Bird flu is not transmitted from person to person, unless it is associated with exceptionally close contact e.g. from a mother to her infant.

Wild ducks are natural carriers of this flu and it is suspected that wild fowl can cause infections among domestic poultry. The flu can spread from wild birds to pigs and donkeys and is considered very difficult to eradicate. Currently six nations have been identified which have high prevalence of this disease namely China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Egypt.

Why Is Avian Flu So Dangerous?

Individuals coming in close contact with the bird or its droppings are at high risk of developing this condition.

Some people get infected with bird flu when attempted to clean or pluck an infected bird. Some have reported infection via inhalation of aerosols in a bird market. Others suggest infection can also spread by bathing in water contaminated by the droppings of an infected bird. Handling cock fights has also been reported to lead to bird flu.

H5N1 is one of the most dangerous stains of the virus which has a particularly high pathogenicity. H5N1 is particularly associated with high mortality, resulting in death of 60% of humans infected by this condition. However the virus doesn’t spread from eating cooked chicken or eggs. The virus is also less likely to spread from person to person, though there are reports that it can spread through very close contact.

Some of the common symptoms in humans following a bird flu infection include muscle aching, fever, cough and sore throat. These symptoms occur within one to five days following the contact. If untreated the condition is life threatening since it can lead to pneumonia or respiratory distress. In some cases eye symptoms like itching and burning have also been reported.

Home Remedies For Bird Flu

Here are some useful home remedies to deal with the symptoms of bird flu. These home remedies can be tried for a couple of days. In case the symptoms continue to progress, immediate medical attention should be sought,

  • Add a table spoon of turmeric to a glass of warm milk and add a table spoon of raw honey to the milk and drink it thrice a day. Turmeric has strong antiviral and anti inflammatory properties which help deal with symptoms like throat pain and cough. Raw honey has a soothing effect and is an excellent source of energy, which hastens the recovery process.
  • Homeopathy is especially helpful in dealing with this condition. Bryonia and Natrum Mur are two remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms and hasten recovery. These remedies should be taken in low potency and repeated about three to four times in a day.

H5N1 infection in humans is often a more severe illness and would require intensive care, isolation and short term hospitalization.

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