Bird Flu / Swine Flu
I Googled on how to avoid catching bird flu or swine flu. Nothing snappy came up. After rooting around I found some interesting info which is summarised here. I'm not an expert so treat what you read here accordingly.
Swine Flu - What Is It?
The swine flu virus is a flu virus carried by pigs. It appears to have mutated or combined with other flu viruses into a virus that can be transmitted from human to human. How lethal the H1N1 Mexican swine flu virus is to humans is currently an open question. A worldwide pandemic sounds scary, but if all you get is a mild touch of flu there'd be no need to panic.
Bird Flu - What Is It?
Bird Flu is a virus that affects birds. The H5N1 variant of the virus is pretty lethal to birds.
Bird Flu - Can People Catch It?
People can catch it if they are in contact with infected birds or their droppings. The current bird flu virus does not seem to transfer easily, if at all, from person to person, though a few cases of people catching it from other people are suspected. Over 50% of the people known to have caught bird flu have died.
Bird Flu - Why Are We Worried?
If someone somewhere gets infected by both the bird flu virus and the human flu virus at the same time it's possible a hybrid virus could result which has the deadliness of the bird virus and the ability of the human virus to spread from person to person. Or the bird flu virus could simply mutate and become infectious between humans.
Bird Flu - Are We All Going To Die?
In the worst case a very contagious and very deadly virus could kill millions of people and could spread around the world very quickly indeed. But any human version of bird flu might not be particularly deadly or easy to catch. The truth is nobody knows. If you roll 2 dice you might get a double six, you might not.
Bird Flu / Swine Flu - What Can You Do To Avoid Getting It?
If a deadly and contagious virus does emerge there are some things you can do to make it less likely you'll catch it:
Swine Flu /Bird Flu - How Can You Avoid Giving It To Others?
If you get the virus, you'll be infectious for several days before you have any symptoms. To make it less likely you'll give it to anyone else:
Best Way To Catch Flu
Find someone who has flu, invite them to sneeze into their hands, shake hands warmly with them, then rub your eyes, pick your nose and lick your fingers.
Bird Flu - Why Is The Avian Flu Virus So Deadly?
How does the avian flu virus kill you? Very unpleasantly. Though actually the bird flu virus doesn't kill you -
your own immune system kills you.
With normal flu, the virus gets into your lungs and your immune system generates killer cells which knock out the virus
and you get better.
Avian flu viruses are different. First they get deeper into the lungs. Then they trigger your immune system into overdrive, so much so that the killer cells attack your own health lung tissue. The lung tissue becomes inflamed, tiny blood vessels get damaged and start to leak, your lungs fill with fluid and you drown in your own blood. I don't know about you, but this scares the **** out of me.
Paradoxically, if your immune system isn't up to much, e.g. because you're old, it can't generate so many killer cells and you stand a better chance of survival. If you're 25 - at your immune system's peak - the news ain't good. That's why bird flu pandemics kill fit young adults. Normal flu kills those with weak immune systems - the very young and the old.
But remember: a bird flu virus that can pass easily from human to human doesn't exist. Yet. As far as we know.
Useful Bird Flu Sites:
Fascinating insight into the science of viruses
New Scientist loads of good stuff
Bird Flu Jokes
First man: It's not just chickens, all sorts of things can get bird flu, but apparently small cocks are most likely to get it.
Second man: Oh shit.
Swine Flu Jokes
What's the best cure for pig flu?
DISCLAIMER: The information on this page has been gleaned from several sources. We cannot be sure of its correctness, completeness or effectiveness. Before acting on anything herein seek expert advice.