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    How Bird Flu Spreads

    ArticleThursday 09 December 2010
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    The bird flu virus, or Avian influenza, is an infection that birds fall victim to. Bird flu is an international problem, as birds all over the world carry it without any effects. Poultry that are domesticated such as chickens, turkeys and ducks can also contract the bird flu virus. %%AFC-ADVERT%%

    Forms
    There are two main forms of bird flu: low pathogenic and high pathogenic. The low form is fairly mild and harmless. The high form has a high death rate amongst domesticated birds and spreads extremely quickly.

    Reproduction
    Bird flu is attacks and invades the permissive cells that are found in the nose, mouth and throat of a bird. Here the virus replicates itself. As soon as the virus matures in these cells, it leaves and moves onto other cells nearby.

    Spread
    Bird flu virus finds its way from a bird’s mucous membranes into saliva, nose discharge and faeces. Birds that are domesticated can have contact with these secretions of birds that are infected and get the infection through this way.

    Infection in Humans
    Humans can be infected by the bird flu virus by contact with infected birds. In times of bird flu outbreaks, a human only needs to be in contact with the infect bird and spread this onto surfaces, where it can also be contracted.

    Human to Human
    Whilst it is a rare occurrence, bird flu has been know to be passed on from person to person. There have been concerns in the past that the virus could mutate with time and spread through humans more easily.

    Bird Flu Symptoms
    There are a number of recognisable bid flu symptoms that characterise the effects on a human being who has been infected with the virus. Bird flu symptoms include:
    •    Fever
    •    Sore throat
    •    Muscle aches
    •    Lethargy
    •    Breathing and chest pain

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