Bird Flu Outbreak: Does it Transfer Human-to-Human? Common Myths And Facts You Should Know

With a health crisis, the country is now facing another threat in the name of bird flu, after about 100 birds at a poultry farm in Shahpur district, Thane birds have reportedly died.Also read – Fear of bird flu in Maharashtra: 25,000 poultry to be slaughtered at Thane Poultry Farm

About 100 birds have recently died at a poultry farm in Vehloli village in Shahpur tehsil. Their samples were sent to a laboratory in Pune for testing and the results confirmed that they had died of H5N1 avian influenza, ”said Thane District Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Bhai Saheb Dangde said. Also read – Covid airborne particles can travel about 200 feet, studies show

After this, about 25,000 birds raised on the poultry farm in an area of ​​one kilometer of the affected farm will be killed in the next two days, he said. Also read – Explained: Does breastfeeding cause cavities in infants? How to take care of children’s dental hygiene? The expert speaks

What is bird flu? How does it spread to humans?

Bird flu is primarily a viral infection that spreads to birds. However, it could potentially affect humans and other animals as well. More than a dozen strains of bird flu have been identified, but in recent years there have been four major strains that cause concern – H5N1, H7N9, H5N6 and H5N8.

The viral infection is spread by preparing food with infected birds (dead or live), feces and other droppings of infected birds, raw poultry meat or poultry of infected birds. Contrary to popular belief, bird flu is not spread by eating properly cooked poultry or eggs, even in areas where there is an outbreak of the infection. The reason is that these viruses are killed naturally when exposed to heat.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), H5N1 (the most common form of bird flu) was first found in humans in 1997, claiming about 60 percent of infected people. The virus is deadly to birds and can easily infect humans and other animals that come in contact with the carrier, although it is not known to be spread by human-to-human contact.

What are the signs and symptoms of bird flu?

The signs and symptoms of bird flu are similar to the flu and may include the following:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath such as shortness of breath
  • Fever (100.4 ° F or above 38 C)
  • headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Runny nose
  • Dry throat
  • Bleeding from the nose and gums

How can you avoid bird flu?

The general prevention that people can take on an individual level is as follows:

  • Wash hands, especially after going to the toilet and before handling food. It is also recommended to use alcohol based hand sanitizer (at least 60%) while traveling.
  • Cover mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Tissue disposal after use
  • Avoid going to public places if you are sick
  • Ensure a good level of general health and attend any vaccination appointments that have been suggested, such as seasonal flu.
  • For example, when feeding wild birds, wash their hands after any contact with them.
  • Practice good hygiene – such as washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap, especially before and after handling food.
  • Avoid contact with open markets or live birds and poultry.
  • Don’t eat undercooked or raw chicken or duck
  • Avoid eating raw eggs
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(Inputs by PTI and Indraprastha Apollo Hospital Senior Consultant Internal Medicine Suranjit Chatterjee)


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