Bird Flu resources
Bird Flu is a form of influenza that mostly infects avians (it is also known as avian influenza or avian flu).
Why is Bird Flu dangerous to Humans?
Bird Flu is a major threat to human populations due to the rate at which it can spread. Since chickens and other livestock are often kept in small enclosed cages, these populations are at a high risk of infection. Once infected a chicken can then infect the human farmer. Thus far a number of humans have been infected by bird flu, but none of these have come from human to human infection.
At the end of 2006 is looks very likely that there will be a major outbreak of bird flu in the Far East. Scientists believe this to be as a result of the close contact people in these regions have to poultry and the lack of santitation.
Any outbreak is likely to start in remote regions, and may well be contained if treated quickly. However the major obstacle to this is correction identification of the disesase, which many will regard as a simple cold.
Who is at risk from Bird Flu?
The general demographic for persons most at risk from Bird flu is highly unusual. This disease is most deadly to young people with strong immune systems. The reason for this is that it triggers a runaway autoimmune response, thus the stronger the immune system the more damage is done.
Preparing for a bird flu pandemic
For the last year governments around the world have begun stock pilling drugs in preparation for a pandemic. The two main drugs are Tamiflu and Relenza. Althought a promising vaccine is also in development.