:: Avian Influenza ::

What is avian influenza (bird flu)?
Bird flu is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These flu viruses occur naturally among birds, very contagious and some of them can be deadly.

Do bird flu viruses infect humans?
Bird flu viruses do not usually infect humans, but several cases of human infection with bird flu viruses have occurred since 1997. According to WHO there has been no sustained human-to-human transmission; limited human-to-human transmission has been seen in only a few settings, usually involving family members. In the world, Indonesia is the highest rank in number of cases and death, could be because of delayed in handling and report of cases.

What are the symptoms of bird flu in humans?
Symptoms of bird flu in humans have ranged from typical flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches) to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases (such as acute respiratory distress), and other severe and life-threatening complications. The symptoms of bird flu may depend on which virus caused the infection.
Please visit your doctor as soon to have medical examination and treatment if you have the symptom.

How does bird flu spread?
It is believed that most cases of bird flu infection in humans have resulted from contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces. There are 139 case with 113 fatal in Indonesia until 16th December 2008 reported.
The spread of avian influenza viruses from one ill person to another has been reported very rarely, and transmission has not been observed to continue beyond one person.

How is infection with bird flu virus in humans treated?
Antiviral drugs Tamiflu (oseltamifir) are recommended by World Health Organization (WHO), which can be used for both treatment and prevention, are clinically effective against bird flu viruses strains in otherwise healthy adults and children, but have some limitations. This medicine must be used in 48 ours after symptoms appear. This drug is also expensive and supplies are limited.

Is there a vaccine to protect humans from H5N1 virus?
The vaccine for bird flu is developed now, but currently is no commercially available. WHO have suggested people using human flu vaccine to prevent the emerge of new strain bird flu that easily infected human to human.

How to prevent the disease?
1. You should avoid poultry farms or contact with animals in live food markets, and any surfaces that appear to be
    contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals.
2. You should be careful when handling and cooking poultry, heating meat and food to 90º Celsius for 1 minute will kill
    the virus.
3. Washing hands with water and soap or detergent will minimize the possibility to get infection.
4. Vaccination must be the best choice for you to protect your self.