Bird flu treatment
Different types of avian flu virus may cause different symptoms. Therefore, treatment may vary. However, you can always help prevent the bird flu from spreading by taking precautions to prevent the disease. Learn more about common prevention and treatment techniques below.
So far, most fatal cases of H5N1 infection have resulted from the effects of the virus. Influenza is often complicated by secondary bacterial infection of the lungs and can cause pneumonia. In these cases, antibiotics could be life-saving in the case of late-onset pneumonia.
At present, the primary pharmaceutical treatment of choice is oseltamivir, which works by preventing the virus from multiplying. Another antiviral flu drug, named zanamivir, is the recommended alternative to oseltamivir. It is recommended that these drugs be taken within two days after the appearance of symptoms. Over time, the bird flu virus may become resistant to both of these drugs. The virus that causes human avian flu appears to be resistant to two antiviral medicines, amantadine and rimantadine. Due to H5N1 being resistant to these two drugs, these medications should not be used if an H5N1 outbreak occurs.
The first human vaccine to prevent infection with one strain of H5N1 bird flu virus was approved by the DFA in 2007. The bird flu vaccine is intended to help protect adults ages 18 to 64. It could be used early in such an outbreak to provide limited protection until another vaccine is developed and produced. This new bird flu vaccine is available to the public, although the US government and others have it stockpiled and plan to distribute the vaccine in the event of an outbreak. Although the bird flu vaccine protected only about 45 percent of those vaccinated, it still may help reduce the severity of the disease. It may also help decrease the risk of hospitalization and death in those who aren't fully protected.
Some recommendations that experts have made to protect yourself against the bid flu include the following:
Cook thoroughly - Cook chicken until the juices run clear. Make sure that when you cook the temperature reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 F (74 C).
Keep a careful eye on young children - They are likely to put their hands in their mouths and may not wash thoroughly'
Protect yourself during travel - If you're travelling to Southeast Asia or to any region with bird flu outbreaks, consider these public health recommendations:
* avoid birds
* avoid mayonnaise, hollandaise, ice cream, and foods containing raw or undercooked eggs
* avoid open-air markets
* avoid raw eggs
* avoid rural areas, small farms and especially any close contact with domesticated fowl
* ask about a flu shot that includes the H5N1 attenuated (non-infectious causing) virus component
Wash and sanitize well - Carefully wash cutting boards, utensils and all surfaces that have come into contact with raw poultry with in hot, soapy water.
Wash your hands - This is the primary way to prevent infections of all kinds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60 percent alcohol when you are traveling. They are effective, very easy to pack, store and use, do not require water, and they are safe for children. Wash your hands thoroughly prior to and after handling poultry. Dry and dry them with a disposable towel.
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