Bird Flu

Questions and answers related to H5N1 Bird Flu (Avian Flu). It is an extremely virulent influenza virus that can infect birds, occasionally pigs, rarely infections in other animals, and very rarely humans. Fortunately, it does not spread very easily, and only extremely rare human to human transmissions have been known to occur. No instance of the virus spreading beyond a first generation of close human contacts has been reported. It does, however, have a very high mortality rate in animals and in humans (60% death rate in humans).

975 Questions

Can you catch a cold by sleeping with a fan on?

No. Colds are caused by your body's susceptibility to a cold virus.While low humidity in a room might create the proper conditions for some viruses, a fan does not have any effect on the humidity level in a room, as a fan simply pushes air around, it does not alter the air like an air conditioner. A fan blowing directly in your face could potentially dry out your mucous tissue and make it slightly easier for a cold virus to gain entry through cracked tissue, but without the presence of the virus in your immediate environment resulting in your exposure, you will not get a cold no matter how dry your membranes are.

There are a lot of myths and old beliefs from before science fully understood the mechanism of infection by rhinoviruses (the viruses causing the common cold). The idea of being out in the cold weather or in air drafts causing a "weakening" the immune system allowing for infections isn't true.


Dowling HF, Jackson GG, Spiesman IG, Inouye T (1958). "Transmission of the common cold to volunteers under controlled conditions. III. The effect of chilling of the subjects upon susceptibility". [American Journal of Hygiene 68 (1): 59-65.];

Douglas, R.G.Jr, K.M. Lindgren, and R.B. Couch (1968). "Exposure to cold environment and rhinovirus common cold. Failure to demonstrate effect". [New England Journal of Medicine 279.]

Your immune system doesn't need to work hard to keep you warm because immune response isn't responsible for temperature regulation, so that does not put any strain on the immune system or interfere with its ability to fight infections.

The best way to avoid colds is to wash your hands regularly, and steer clear of sick people as best you can.

What are the epidemiological indicators for SARS?

SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome belongs to a family of Corona virus. It's signs and symptoms are similar to a common cold but more deadly. As of the moment there is no cure for such disease but expert doctors said if a person has a suspected signs and symptoms of SARS s/he has to be taken to the nearest hospital. There are important things to remember on how to prevent the disease such as: frequent handwashing, strengthen your immune system by taking Vitamin C and fruits and vegetables that contains Vitamin C, wearing of N95 mask and the last resort is to go to the nearest hospital if signs and symptoms are visible.

What is Sawan flu?

Some people are using that name for Avian "Bird" flu. There have been cases in the past of the relatively rare bird flu in Nakhon Sawan Province in Thailand (2008). In December 2011 there is concern that there could be more cases develop there due to the influx of a larger number of wild birds than usual in the area, considered possibly due to changes in weather. The incidence seems to be increased when the birds are in over crowded conditions. Animals are being tested to keep a close monitor on the potential for infected birds in the area again.

What is the Avian 'bird' flu H5N1?

H5N1, commonly called "Bird flu" is a strain of avian flu (the types of flu that birds get). Normally, it's not a threat to humans and is carried by birds who give it to other birds. However, this strain has now mutated and spread to both wild and domesticated birds, and has begun spreading to mammals such as pigs. Humans and other mammals have been infected with the flu by direct contact with the infected birds or their saliva or feces. There have been a few very very rare cases of human to human transmission when an infected person lived closely with another person.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) web pages: Avian influenza ("bird flu") is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. The infection can cause a wide spectrum of symptoms in birds, ranging from mild illness, which may pass unnoticed, to a rapidly fatal disease that can cause severe epidemics.

Avian influenza viruses do not normally infect humans. However, there have been instances of certain highly pathogenic strains causing severe respiratory disease in humans. In most cases, the people infected had been in close contact with infected poultry or with objects contaminated by their feces. Nevertheless, there is concern that the virus could mutate to become more easily transmissible between humans, raising the possibility of an influenza pandemic.


The bird flu, or Avian Influenza, is a potentially deadly sickness that can be transferred from infected birds to people. So far, there have not been as many deaths from it as from other strains of influenza viruses in people, but due to the vast number of poultry farms in places such as India and China where people and birds are often living very close together, the potential threat is great for even pandemic proportions of related illness.

The highly pathogenic Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 is only one subtype of avian influenza-causing virus.

A current worry by public health organizations world wide is that this very aggressive virus will mutate making it more easily transmissible to humans. With the swine flu (A-H1N1/09) from the 2009 pandemic, which is a highly contagious flu virus in humans, there is always concern that it could combine with H5N1 to a mutated reassortant strain that would have the easy transmission of H1N1 and the severity of symptoms and death of H5N1.

While a pandemic is possible at any time, keep in mind that the human toll from widespread outbreaks are lessened with each outbreak, thanks to better understanding of disease and progressive research and medical breakthrough.

The US government has set up a very good website explaining flu viruses and what we can do collectively and individually to protect ourselves and others from their spread.

See the link to this site in the related links section below.

On the lighter side:

Bird flu is when birds fly in the past tense.

Can you become a human avian hybrid?

Technically, yes. There is, however, the fact that no-one knows whether or not people can develop after being born. After I turn 18, I will be trying to do this very thing. If you are interested, contact me.


Not only am I interested, I would die and be reborn if it was possible. Humans suck, to no offence. But, honestly, I would love to be the first success in hybridding. I could do it on my own, sure. If it meant I couldn't eat McDonalds anymore? No problem. I'm sure that there would be a lot of penalties in being one. Surely, as always, there is no simple gain.

- You couldn't eat as much salt

- You'd need to keep your supposed wing muscles strong [ If you manage the wings]

- You're bones would probably need maintenance

And so on. I understand that the results are varied, and I wouldn't want to go in there until I know I will at the very least survive. I don't really know how to contact you, so I'll go ahead and hope you'll contact me.



I'm most active on an IM, chatting website 'chatango'

Go ahead, don'e be afraid.

Not only should the first answerer take note, but to help out the question;

You'd have a lot of defects. A lot. For a start, it'll probably be harder to breath because your mixing two different lung types. You'd have to eat less, you would have to avoid a lot of foods the typical human loves--Salt, sugar, and more. Trust me. A lot of things could defect you; and surely you won't know every problem until it's too late; so you'd have to eat like you had them all. And a lot more. So if you're interested, though I am sure humans can do it already--considering that they can clone from DNA--you'd have to give up a lot. Like, per say, going to school. Living in your old manner. Eating the same foods. Eating the same amount of food. You might not even have the ability to talk anymore. So before throwing yourself out there, make sure you understand that. Because I want to do it. I'm willing to do it. I'm not willing to be the first one, no, but I am willing to give up a lot. Including my voice. But hopefully not my fingers, or intelligence.


What are basic nursing interventions for bird flu?

A short list:

  1. Application and maintenance of infection control processes and isolation,
  2. oxygen supplementation,
  3. monitoring vital signs and oxygen saturation levels,
  4. assisting ADLs,
  5. assessing respiratory status, function and breath sounds,
  6. monitoring for signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis,
  7. monitoring for signs and symptoms of secondary bacterial infections,
  8. administering medication (inhalation therapy, eye drops, oral and IV) including antivirals, prophylactic antibiotics or antibiotics for secondary infections, eye medication for conjunctivitis, and IV steroids,
  9. enabling respiratory care services,
  10. administration of IV fluids, monitoring intake and output along with fluid and electrolyte balances,
  11. providing comfort measures.
  12. In more severe cases: mechanical ventilation care and assessments.

What is the difference between Flu A and Flu B?

They are caused by two different kinds of viruses. There are three types of influenza viruses that have been classified according to the types of proteins they have. There are Type A, Type B, and Type C influenza viruses. Type A and B each have many different strains. Type C does not.

Type A influenza is one of the more common types we see in the seasonal flu among humans and it is also a very common type that many other animals get. It has subtypes and strains that differ, which is why having one subtype will not give you immunity from all the other subtypes and strains.

Type B influenza is also a common type among humans and is found only in humans. It is not divided into subtypes but there are multiple strains.

Type C has been found in humans, pigs, and dogs. The symptoms are usually very mild, milder than those of Type A and B influenza viruses, and it typically doesn't cause epidemics. It is not divided into different subtypes or strains.

Is there a vaccine for bird flu?

There is one vaccine that has been produced for avian flu strain H5N1, but it is not available commercially to the public. There is no vaccine for the newest strain of bird flu known to have infected humans, H7N9 identified in late March 2013 in China, that had never before infected humans. It has been confirmed as the strain that killed two men in Shanghai and that is the virus that infected the woman in China currently in critical condition. They did not infect each other or any close contacts.

World epidemiologists and vaccine developers are investigating and are in discussions now through the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.

The current incidence of Avian (Bird) Flu (Type A H5N1 Influenza) in humans is very low and it is not easily spread from human to human. However, it is an especially deadly form of flu and so the US Government has ordered a stockpile of this vaccine to have available if a pandemic of this strain of influenza ever does emerge.

The information about Bird Flu vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is:

On April 17, 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval of the first vaccine to prevent human infection with one strain of the avian influenza (bird flu) H5N1 virus. The vaccine, produced by Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., has been purchased by the federal government for the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile; it will be distributed by public-health officials if needed. This vaccine will not be made commercially available to the general public. Other H5N1 vaccines are being developed by other companies against different H5N1 strains. For more information about the Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. vaccine, see FDA Approves First U.S. Vaccine for Humans Against the Avian Influenza Virus H5N1 [link below]. For information about other H5N1 and pandemic flu vaccine research activities visit Vaccine Research [link below].

The H5N1 vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 17, 2007, was developed as a safeguard against the possible emergence of an H5N1 pandemic virus. However, the H5N1 virus is not a pandemic virus because it does not transmit efficiently from person to person, so the H5N1 vaccine is being held in stockpiles rather than being used by the general public. This vaccine aids H5N1 preparedness efforts in case an H5N1 pandemic virus were to emerge.

What are the symptoms of bird flu in humans?

Symptoms of bird flu * Fever * Sore throat * Muscle aches * Headache * Lethargy * Conjunctivitis (eye infections) * Breathing problems * Chest pains

What is the likelihood that dead birds found on your deck means they have the bird flu or are diseased?

It is unlikely that they have Avian Flu, but you must treat them as if they did. Do not touch them. To be safe from diseases, like bird flu, call your local Animal Control Department or Health Department first and ask them if there have been any cases of Avian Flu in birds in your area. Ask also about West Nile Virus and any other zoonotic diseases (diseases men get from animals) that might be known to be there. The Animal Control or health department people can tell you if this is common in your area, and if it is, they can test the birds to determine the cause of death so you know for sure.

Could they have flown into a window and broken their necks? They do it because they see the reflection of the trees and sky in the window and can't tell that there is glass there.

Do you have a cat? Cats will sometimes catch small animals and bring them home, this goes back to their instinct to provide food for the family and they can consider their humans as family. Usually, but not always, there will be tell tale signs that the animal has been attacked (missing feathers, broken wings, blood, etc.).

Whatever it may be, do not touch them at all and don't go near them without adults present if you are young. Avoid breathing in air that may be contaminated when close to or handling them even with gloves or a shovel, some diseases birds can carry are airborne.

Before you do anything, ask the officials how you should protect yourself and how you should dispose of the birds safely to protect others as well.

There is no specific "meaning", other than the fact that the bird was sick or died as a result of injury. But if you find several dead birds around your home, or if your neighbors find dead birds around their homes as well, then you need to contact your local health department to see if they are testing for West Nile Virus.

Is there a vaccine or cure or treatment for bird flu?

Currently there is no cure for the bird flu (H5N1), but the symptoms are treated. There has been a vaccine developed for the US, but it is stockpiled by the government in case there is a pandemic, so it is not available as a preventive vaccine yet.

Are there antibiotics for bird flu?

There are no antibiotics for the bird flu. Influenza (all types) is caused by a virus, and hence can't be treated with antibiotics (antibiotics only work with bacteria).

Does the current Novel H1N1 Swine Flu contain elements of avian flu?

Yes. It does contain genetic material of Avian Flu in addition to three types of swine flu and also human flu viruses. (Avian flu is also called "Bird Flu"). When a virus mutates like this one did in pigs with five different genomes in the virus, it is called a quintuple reassortant (also known as reassortment) virus.

The three types of swine flu genetic material in the A-H1N1/09 pandemic flu are American swine flu, Asian swine flu, and European swine flu.

How many people have died of bird flu?

As of April 2013, only 360 people world-wide have died from avian flu, H5N1, and 10s of millions of birds have died of this strain since 2003. It is rare among humans.

As of Easter Sunday 2013, it was reported that a new strain to infect humans, H7N9, had claimed the lives of the first two people with this rare strain of avian flu. Two men have died in Shanghai, and one other person in a different part of China is in critical condition with this strain of bird flu.

What is the causative organism of bird flu?

A Type A influenza virus causes Avian "bird" Flu. The specific virus strains of bird flu that infect humans are called Avian influenza, A-H5N1 virus and Avian influenza, A-H7N9 (newly identified in humans near Easter Sunday 2013 in China). Viruses can change or mutate over time. The strain of avian bird flu that caused the scare in Europe was H5N1. There are many different types (subtypes) of this virus, but the one that has been in the news the most is H5N1 because it infects not only birds but can also infect humans, killing them in 50 to 60% of the cases. It is not easily transmitted from person to person, so it has not spread in humans like other types of influenza have so far.

Additional information:

Although they can be considered organisms, they are not living organisms, for that reason not all scientists classify a virus as a "microbe". Most of them do for lack of a better way to talk about them instead of "germ" or other less specific nomenclature. As stated above, unlike the other organisms called microbes, they are not living organisms. They are specialized groups of "cells" that perform functions working in an organized way, but they latch on to and break into a living host's cells and use the life, energy, and nutrients from the host in an almost parasitic way. The genetic material that they have stored inside themselves combines with that of the host's cells to cause the host cells to stop reproducing more cells like itself for the host. Instead, the virus instructs them to start making duplicate viruses like the one that invaded the host.

H5N1 is an extremely virulent influenza virus that can infect birds, occasionally pigs, rarely infections in other animals, and very rarely humans. Fortunately, it does not spread very easily, and only extremely rare human to human transmissions have been known to occur. No instance of the virus spreading beyond a first generation of close human contacts has been reported. It does, however, have a very high mortality rate in animals and in humans (60% death rate in humans).

How does Bird flu H5N1 spread?

Spreading Bird Flu

The Bird Flu is spread from animals to humans but not from humans to humans (except in very rare cases). To transfer the sickness, an animal only has to come into contact with another animal who has it. The animal with the Avian Flu can give it to another bird or human through its feces, saliva, or nasal secretions. People can get it by coming in direct contact with infected poultry, usually not with contact with wildbirds, however it is feasible. That means that you should be careful when handling any birdbath, feeder, or other place where bird saliva or feces is likely to be. It is rare in humans, but to be better safe than sorry use gloves, or be sure to wash your hands well after touching anything on which the birds may have left secretions or excrement.

Is bird flu contagious to humans?

Yes, people can catch it from contact with the excrement or saliva of infected birds. It can be passed from human to human but only very rarely and only when they are living in very close physical contact, e.g., living in the same home.

How do you tell if a bird has bird flu?

It sneezes a lot.

Bird flu can often fly right under the radar. Its important to check regularily with your vet to talk about prevention methods and to make sure your bird is healthy.

A few symptoms of bird flu in birds includes: ruffled feathers, and lower production of eggs.

Hope that helps :)

What body systems are affected by avian flu?

The respiratory system is the most affected body system with Avian Flu as with all cases of influenza. However, with the Avian Flu, the eyes can also be affected with conjunctivitis, an inflammation/infection of the whites of the eyes (aka pink eye).

How many types of birds are there?

About 10,000 types of birds, but there are too many to count!

What country does the African DJ who invented a bird flu dance come from?

The DJ known as DJ Lewis came from Abijan on the Ivory Coast of Africa. The dance, which became popular in 2006 and was often seen being danced in large groups at clubs in Africa and elsewhere, is called the The Grippe Aviaire dance.

How do you pipe a hot recirculation line?

Remove the boiler drain at the bottom of the water heater,and install a tee with the branch facing up. Replace the boiler drain! Above the tee is where you put the approved for pottable water pump,with the arrow pointing toward the tee.(you can put a shut off above and below the pump for servicing)From the top of the pump you now run a line to the farthest fixture,of a conventional water line system, and tee into the hot before any shutoff or fixture.(insulating the hot water lines would definitely save energy)If you are trying this on a home run (or header)system, you will have to run a separate line back from every fixture to an other header,and then to the top of the pump. P.S. Be sure you label the shut offs to make sure no one closes them when the pump is in operation.

What are reasons people should worry about bird flu?

because you can die from it. Also in the developing world poultry is the number 1 source of protein for millions of people. If poultry die people go hungry.

What do you do during the Bird Flu?

The Bird Flu, luckily, did not develop into a worldwide pandemic as was once feared. This mainly had to do with the anatomical differences between avarian and human respiratory tracts. However, if you travel to the East, be sure that you do not touch any fowl, dead or alive, and that if you eat any fowl that it is fully cooked.