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Facts about Bird Flu, Swine Flu and Influenza

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Since early August the French government detected 130 cases of bird flu in Europe. In alert to the spread of bird flu, the French government stipulates that poultry rearing must be done indoors.

The www.mayoclinic.org page states that more than 12 types of bird flu have been detected, with two new strains, namely H5N1 and H7N9, which infect humans and can cause death.

Other flu that has also become an epidemic is swine flu and influenza. Reported from www.nhs.uk swine flu is a type of seasonal flu that was responsible for the global flu outbreak in 2009 to 2010.

Here are the facts about bird flu, swine flu, and influenza:

Bird flu

– People who experience symptoms of bird flu mostly have been in contact with sick birds. Transmission of bird flu can also be between humans.

– Outbreaks of bird flu occurred in Asia, Africa, North America and parts of Europe. Symptoms start from two to seven days after infection depending on the type.

– Characterized by cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache and shortness of breath, the indications resemble those of conventional influenza. There are also those who experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as mild eye infections which are the only signs of bird flu in some cases.

– Humans infected with bird flu experience pneumonia, pink eyes, respiratory failure, kidney dysfunction, and heart problems. Although deadly, but the number of human deaths due to flu is still low. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported fewer than 500 deaths from bird flu since 1997.

Swine Flu

– This A/H1N1pdm09 or H1N1 virus was first recognized in April 2009 in Mexico. Named swine flu because the virus is similar to the flu virus that infects pigs. Symptoms of swine flu are similar to other flu symptoms that begin in one to two weeks.

– Swine flu spreads rapidly from country to country, but young and old people are immune to it. Most cases of this outbreak in the UK are relatively mild, but some are serious. The number of cases is relatively small, but it can also cause death in children and adults with congenital diseases and pregnant women.

– On August 10, 2010, WHO declared that this epidemic was over. Currently swine flu is a seasonal flu that occurs every winter. However, many people are already immune to swine flu.

Seasonal Influenza

– According to www.who.int seasonal influenza is caused by an influenza virus that causes acute infections of the respiratory tract. There are four types of influenza viruses, namely A, B, C, and D.

– Types A and B become seasonal flu outbreaks. While types C and D are not known to cause disease in humans.

– This outbreak is characterized by sudden fever, dry cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, malaise, sore throat, and runny nose. Severe cough symptoms can last for two weeks or more.

– Many people recover from the symptoms after a week, so there is no need for medical help. Usually the distance from the time of infection to illness is about two days or between one to four days.

– Influenza can also cause death. It is estimated that three to five million severe cases have occurred with 290,000 to 650,000 respiratory deaths worldwide.

– Most deaths in industrialized countries occur in people over the age of 65. But researchers say in developing countries 99 percent of deaths occur in children under the age of five.

– Those most at risk of being infected with seasonal influenza are pregnant women, children under 59 months of age, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, people with immunosuppressive conditions (such as HIV/AIDS, receiving chemotherapy), and health workers.

Read: Avian Influenza Outbreak Found in Europe, France Alerts



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