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Should you be concerned? | Why prepare? | How to prepare? | Free guide

Should you be concerned about Bird Flu?

Experts are advising that a Flu Pandemic will come and that Bird Flu (H5N1) has the potential to create more widespread illness and death than has been seen in recent pandemics. There are several reasons infectious disease experts like Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota are concerned and you should be too.

The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic filled hospital wardsFirst the human immune system is not currently set-up to recognize and do battle with this new virus. In essence, it is an unknown enemy. This unknown enemy has been deadly with almost 57% of the confirmed human cases reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) resulting in death (329 deaths/ 562 confirmed cases, 7/22/2011). To put this in perspective, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, the worst pandemic of this century had a case fatality rate of just 2.5% (Santa Clara County Public Health Department Pandemic Influenza Plan)

A second reason for concern is that the viruses that cause flu are some of the most promiscuous viruses known. Meaning, they readily exchange segments of genetic material with other viruses such as those that cause the typical flu that spreads easily amongst humans. Masks or respirators can help prevent the spread of Avian influenza They also mutate readily as their genetic machinery is sloppy, in effect they do not have a good spell checker. These two factors combined with the fact that the Bird flu (H5N1) is rapidly spreading across the world through migratory birds, makes it a matter of time before a version of the virus that readily infects humans is generated. Limited human to human transmission has already occurred in Indonesia. Next...

Learn the difference between a seasonal flu and a pandemic flu Seasonal Flu Verses a Pandemic Flu

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