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Bird flu human infection




Bird Flu: Human Infection

bird flu, avian flu, avian influenza, virus, h5n1 virus, pandemic,


Bird flu is a disease caused by a specific type of avian (bird) influenza virus, the so-called H5N1 virus. This virus was first discovered in birds in China in 1997, and since then has infected 125 people in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia, killing 64 of them. It is spread by infected migratory birds (including wild ducks and geese) to domestic poultry (primarily chickens, ducks, and turkeys), and then to humans. 

Some infected people have developed abnormal clotting profiles resulting in excessive bleedingwhich was a frequent clinical symptom in the deadly so-called Spanish influenza of 1918-19, which killed more than 100 million people worldwide. Indeed, bird flu shares a number of disturbing characteristics with the 1918-19 influenza virus. These two viruses have, in fact, recently been shown to be similar genetically. And in a recent laboratory experiment with mice, the 1918-19 virus was found to produce 39,000 times more viruses four days after infection than the regular seasonal human