Although their symptoms are similar, SARS is caused by completely different viruses. Influenza viruses also are more contagious and cannot be as readily contained as SARS by isolating people who have the infection. Scientists fear the bird flu virus could evolve into a form that is easily spread between people, resulting in an extremely contagious and lethal disease The two viruses could recombine inside the victim’s body, producing a hybrid that could readily spread from person to person. The grimmest scenario would be a global outbreak to rival the flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919, which claimed millions of lives worldwide. For now, researchers are trying to develop a vaccine that would protect people in the event of a bird flu pandemic.
Causes of Bird Flu
The common Causes of Bird Flu :
Bird flu (or Avian flu) is currently being used to describe the influenza virus, H5N1, which is producing a highly contagious and rapidly fatal disease, leading to severe epidemics in birds.
Bird flu is caused by different subtypes of influenza A virus affecting chickens, ducks and other birds Viruses which cause mild disease can mutate into viruses that can cause serious disease (highly pathogenic).
Symptoms of Bird Flu
Some Symptoms of Bird Flu :
Treatment of Bird Flu
Antiviral medications used to treat human flu viruses help to reduce the symptoms of bird flu, but it’s not yet clear whether these work for the current type of bird flu.
Oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu) and zanamivir (brand name Relenza) antiviral medications used to treat regular flu may be helpful in the treatment of bird flu.
However, their effectiveness against the H5N1 subtype of the virus is uncertain, and there are also concerns about the availability and cost of these medications.