Archive for the ‘Bird Flu’ Category
I regard natural antiviral remedies as more effective than pharmaceutical ones. An added bonus is that natural remedies are basically free of side-effects, and they are non-specific, meaning that they are effective against all viruses as well as against bacteria and fungi.
Most natural antivirals are antioxidants. Usually a cocktail of strong antioxidants is used in high concentrations. These include the vitamins A, C, D and E, alpha lipoic acid, and extracts of grapefruit seed and olive leaf. Supportive minerals are magnesium, selenium and zinc. Colloidal silver, hydrogen peroxide, garlic, and a range of herbs and essential oils may be used in addition. Different quantities and combinations of these may be used at different stages of infection alert or an actual infection.
During a general infection alert you may take the following with each meal or three times daily:
* Half a tsp of sodium ascorbate (or other form of vitamin C)
* 1 halibut liver oil capsule
* 250 mg of natural vitamin E
* 15 mg of zinc
* 100 mg of alpha lipoic acid
* 100 ï¿½ 200 mg of magnesium
* 200 mcg of selenium only once a day
* fresh garlic with most meals (squashing under lemon juice reduces odour)
Bird flu is caused by a kind of influenza virus. Influenza viruses come in three distinct types, called type A, type B and type C, each with its own characteristics. Type C influenza viruses are fairly stable and cause relatively mild symptoms, while type B influenza viruses cause more severe, though relatively localised outbreaks. Type A influenza viruses are responsible for the deadly influenza pandemics that, every few decades, rampage around the world leaving a trail of sickness and death in their wake. It is to this last, most dangerous, type that bird flu, or avian influenza, belongs.
Type A influenza viruses may be further divided into subtypes – HA, of which there are fifteen, and NA of which there are nine. These subtypes may combine, resulting in a range of other subtypes, whose impact may be confined to a single species. For example, H1N1 is usually responsible for sickness in humans, while H3N8 infects horses. Birds are susceptible to at least fifteen different influenza A subtypes, of which by far the most dangerous is H5N1 – the strain of bird flu that has caused the deaths of millions of birds in recent months. Only recently have the subtypes that affect birds been observed in any other kind of animal (including humans) apart from pigs.
All type A influenza viruses, including bird flu, share the ability to quickly and easily change their genetic makeup and arbitrarily swap genes between themselves. As the virus reproduces, tiny changes take place in its genetic makeup that are then passed on to later generations. The cumulative effect of these changes, called antigenic drift, is that older strains of the virus are constantly being replaced by new strains that are unaffected by antibodies developed to combat earlier strains.
The second, lethal, kind of bird flu causes birds to become very ill extremely quickly and, because it is highly contagious, spreads rapidly to surrounding birds. It affects the birds’ respiratory tract, and attacks multiple organs and tissues, leading to massive internal haemorrhaging. So deadly is this form of bird flu that almost 100% of infected birds may die within 48 hours of contracting the disease.
Of potentially greater concern, however, is a process called antigenic shift, in which influenza A subtypes that normally infect different species, such as a human and a bird, combine to produce a completely new strain. Because the new virus is different from the strains that combined to produce it, there is no natural immunity to it. This enables the new virus to spread rapidly, causing extensive sickness and death.
Antigenic shift resulting in a virus that crosses the species barrier between birds and humans is often traced to locations where humans, chickens and pigs live in close proximity. Pigs can easily be infected with both human and bird flu viruses, making them an ideal venue for the two different kinds of virus to meet and exchange genes. Such a third party is not an essential component of antigenic shift, however; some bird flu viruses are capable of infecting humans who come into direct contact with infected birds, although they are not, currently, able to spread on to other humans, and it seems that this is how the vast majority bird flu cases in humans to date have occurred.
The more frequently humans are infected with bird flu through contact with infected birds, the greater the risk that one of those humans will be simultaneously infected with a human influenza virus; under those conditions there is the potential for the two viruses to merge and produce a deadly new strain that spreads as quickly amongst humans as bird flu currently does amongst birds. Although this is true of all bird flu strains, the deadly H5N1 strain has a well-documented propensity for both mutating quickly and commandeering large swathes of genetic material from viruses that infect other species via a process called reassortment.
In view of how far H5N1 has spread around the globe, the likelihood that this strain of bird flu will meet and combine with a human influenza virus, thereby creating the cause of a bird flu pandemic amongst humans, is disturbingly high. It is surely only a matter of time before the process begins – if it has not already begun.
The most common symptom of bird flu is fever. A person suffering from bird flu can have temperature above 100°F. Apart from fever a person suffering from bird flu will have cough which is similar to the normal flu symptom. However, a person who is affected with bird flu will pass on the virus along with the cough.
A person suffering from bird flu will face difficulty in breathing. Besides, these patients will also suffer from shortness of breath.
The patients suffering from bird flu will also suffer from sore throat, which is a common symptom of normal flu; some of the patients suffering from bird flu suffer from diarrhea and also abdominal pain. However, all patients do not face this kind of problem. Some patients may even face the symptom of watery diarrhea.
In most cases the patients generally face the problem of diarrhea before encountering the respiratory problem. Another common symptoms which some of the patients display is the bleeding of the gums and nose. There are some patients who have the symptoms of muscle aches, which is similar to the symptom of normal flu.
Some of the patients suffering from bird flu face the symptom of vomiting and nausea. Conjunctivitis is another common symptom. People who are affected with H5N1 bird flu generally do not get affected with conjunctivitis. This is mostly faced by patients who are suffering from bird flu caused by different other subtypes of the Influenza A virus.
Avian influenza (AI) or bird flu is a group of viruses that occur naturally in birds. A virus is pathogenic if it can cause illness or death. Some AI viruses can infect birds but not cause many bird illnesses or death. Other AI viruses, termed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), can cause large numbers of bird illnesses and deaths. Currently there is concern about one of these viruses, known as highly pathogenic H5N1, because it is causing severe disease in chickens and other poultry on several continents. It has also been found in wild birds in the same areas. In some instances, people who have had close contact with sick poultry have also become infected and gotten very sick. Approximately half of the people known to be infected have died.