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How To Protect Yourself from the Avian H5N1 Flu Virus

H5N1 spread pattern mapsWhat measures can you take to decrease your chances of contracting H5N1 or other variant / recombinant strains of Bird-Flu?

#1 Don't live with birds!!!
Most human infections have been the result of close contact with birds. Wash your hands, clothes and remove shoes after contact with birds, bird feathers or bird droppings.

#2 examine your hygiene!!!
The Bird-flu spreads like any other flu and keeping your hands, clothes and home clean is the most effective way to stay healthy.

Bird-flu Hygiene and Health-habits:

Wash Your Hands
Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has the flu sneezes onto their hand, and then touches the telephone, the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours -- in some cases weeks -- only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands often.

Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces
Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same. While cleaning with soap and water removes visible dirt and most germs, disinfecting with a diluted bleach solution, Lysol spray, GSE or essential-oil mix, or other disinfectant kills additional germs on surfaces, providing an added margin of safety.

Leave your Shoes at the Door
Studies have shown that most of the bacteria and viral particles in a household hitch a ride into the house on the shoes. Leaving your shoes at the door when you enter the home can significantly reduce the amount of infectious particles on your floor, carpet and furniture. Spray the outside surfaces of your shoes with a disinfectant (lysol or equivalent) on a regular basis.

Keep your distance. Also be aware of touching high-use public surfaces, handrails, doorknobs, etc. and then your face!
Generally speaking, you should avoid being closer than six feet to someone who is ill for more than a minute or two, especially if they're coughing and sneezing. You should also avoid going to work when you are ill with the flu and encourage your kids to stay home from school if they have the flu. Don't touch your face or mucous membranes after touching high-use public surfaces, handrails, doors, countertops, etc.

Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands
Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands results in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If you don't have a tissue, turn your head away from people near you and cough into the air.

Don't Habitually Touch Your Face
Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds, and a key way they pass colds on to their parents.

Drink Plenty of Fluids
Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates you. A typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day. How can you tell if you're getting enough liquid? If the color of your urine runs close to clear, you're getting enough. If it's deep yellow, you need more fluids.

Get Fresh Air
A regular dose of fresh air is important, especially in cold weather when central heating dries you out and makes your body more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. Also, during cold weather more people stay indoors, which means more germs are circulating in crowded, dry rooms.

Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly
Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood; makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood; and makes you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.

Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals. Eat a balanced diet and get proper rest
"Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill, and eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.This is good general advice for keeping your body healthy and able to fight off infections. A proper diet and sleep can help your immune system stay strong so that it can fight off viral infections before they take hold.

Eat Yogurt
Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent. Researchers think the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease.

"Bob" says - RELAX or DIERelax
If you can teach yourself to relax, you can activate your immune system on demand. There's evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into action, your interleukins -- leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses -- increase in the bloodstream.
Train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming. Do this 30 minutes a day for several months. Keep in mind, relaxation is a learnable skill, but it is not doing nothing. People who try to relax, but are in fact bored, show no changes in blood chemicals.


What precautions should I take if I live in or visit an area affected by H5N1 "bird flu"?
Avoid contact with live birds, chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese and their feces, feathers and pens if at all possible.
Children, in particular, should be taught these precautions, and small children may need to be supervised for their protection.

Do not purchase or agree to adopt new pet birds from an area in which H5N1 influenza has been reported.
Avoid poultry products from areas with H5N1-infected birds.
Do not transport live or dead poultry even if it appears to be healthy.

All foods from poultry, including eggs and poultry blood should be cooked thoroughly.
Egg yolks should not be runny or liquid. Because influenza viruses are destroyed by heat,
the cooking temperature for poultry meat should be 74 C (165 F).

Avoid cross contamination of other foods by use of separate kitchen utensils and surfaces exposed to raw poultry.
Wash hands with soap and water after any poultry contact.

Sanitary professionals, health-care workers and others who must travel to H5N1-infected areas and work directly with infected birds, poultry and humans should follow approved precautions for reducing the risk for infection with H5N1 virus.
See HHS/CDC guidance at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/professional/.

Can my domestic animals get bird flu?
There have been reports of H5N1 infection in domestic cats, pigs, tigers, leopards, ferrets, and stone martens.
The domestic cats are believed to have been infected by eating raw, H5N1-infected birds.
Although no human cases of avian influenza A have been associated with contact with infected cats,
you should keep your cats inside if there has been a verified outbreak of H5N1 in your area.
In addition, avoid contact with stray cats, and inform your local veterinarian if your cat becomes sick after
having had contact with birds. You should always follow strict hygiene rules when disposing of animal waste
or caring for your pets.
At this time, there is not enough information to determine if dogs can become infected with H5N1 virus.

Will the U. S. government evacuate Americans from a foreign country in the event of a pandemic?
Current medical thinking suggests that remaining in country in a pandemic may be the appropriate response to the start of an influenza pandemic in certain countries or regions. In this scenario, people would be advised to exercise "social distancing" and avoid any form of public gathering where transmission of the disease could occur.
Mass transit, including air travel, is a common venue for human-to-human transmission of viral infections due to the proximity of travelers to each other. Whether the U.S. government evacuates anyone will depend on a variety of country-specific factors. Each U.S. embassy and consulate has been asked to develop a contingency plan in the event of a pandemic, and to identify events that might prompt them to send employees and/or their dependents out of the country, assuming such travel is possible.

.(Flu safety tips above were compiled from the web)

According to reports this virus mutates quickly and is very adaptive.
Some types of H5N1 are already resistant to TAMIFLU, a pharmaceutical anti-viral agent.
TAMIFLU will probably not be effective once the virus mutates to allow human-to-human infection.

"A study published in the Oct. 20 online issue of the journal Nature reported that a strain of H5N1 virus in a Vietnamese girl is resistant to Tamiflu.
There is also concern that Tamiflu can cause death or psychological problems in teenagers, following reports of Japanese teens dying or committing suicide after taking the drug. Roche argues that these effects are not the result of Tamiflu, and that high fevers and other flu symptoms could also cause psychiatric symptoms and death. The company's statement is supported by recent reports published by the European Medicines Evaluation Agency and the FDA's Pediatric Advisory Committee.

The CDC recommends that any person experiencing potentially life-threatening influenza-related illnesses, or anyone at high risk for developing complications and in the first two days of illness, be treated with antiviral medications. The agency also recommends that antiviral drugs be administered to healthy people working in an outbreak area such as a hospital to prevent the disease.
If you have the flu, health experts advise you to get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids, avoid alcohol and tobacco products, and take fever reducers and other medication to relieve your symptoms.Do not, however, give aspirin to a child or teenager with flu symptoms without consulting a doctor. Doing so could lead to the development of Reye Syndrome – a rare but potentially fatal disease that causes severe damage to the brain, liver and other important organs.

(from LiveScience)

This leaves us with some of the emerging anti-viral essential oils
being used to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs in hospitals
"Dr. Valnet states, "Infectious microbes do not appear to become accustomed to the essential oils as they do to the many forms of treatment using antibiotics." One reason virus and bacteria cannot mutate with the essential oils is because of the chemical constituents that make up essential oils. One essential oil can have anywhere from 200- 800 chemical constituents. It is impossible for a virus to mutate and adapt to that many chemical constituents. Drugs are made by isolating one or two constituents. A virus can easily mutate and adapt to the drug, making it useless."
Click for Full Story

For decontaminating surfaces
such as doorknobs, counters, chairs, bathrooms
and other common-use places where viral particles can grow
use Lysol or a spray disinfectant or make your own natural one

a spray-mist of 8oz purified water
mixed with 5 tablespoons of equal portions of
grapefruit-seed extract (GSE)
and pure essential oils of rosemary, myrrh, tea-tree, ginger and pine-needle

This is a powerful antiviral / antibiotic combination.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a replacement for professional Medical Advice,
just tips of avoiding the flu and keeping your personal environment clean.

If you have health problems, consult with an Actual Physician, not just the internet.

2007 World Map of Avian Influenza Outbreaks

World Map of H5N1 outbreak Spread
(source: BBC)

Older H5N1 Maps

Countries Reporting Avian Flu
This is a list culled from various news sources over the last month or so.

Hong Kong
South Korea
North Korea
Saudi Arabia



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