About Bird Flu

"Bird Flu" is a highly contagious avian influenza virus that normally infects birds but has infected humans and other mammals as well.

This virus has been mainly transmitted to humans who have been in contact with infected birds and animals. There have been a few cases where there has been human to human transmission with a high mortality rate.

These viruses are constantly mutating to different forms. In the beginning, a bird or animal that were infected, died quickly from the disease. A new variant of H5N1 can now be "hosted" by the infected animal so that it will not be quickly killed and thus be more deadly since it can live longer and infect more animals.

The main concern is that this virus will mutate to a strain that will be easily transmitted from human to human. This is what happened in past pandemics such as the great global influenza pandemic of 1918 the Spanish Flu in which 2 million people died.

The virus infects the lungs so transmission is by several means: 1. aerosol in the air so the best protection is wearing a protective mask, the best being at least an N95 rated mask. The other means of transmission is by touching a person or object that has the virus and then as with the common cold touching ones mouth. The best precaution is for this to wash hands a several times a day after being in a public domain.