I ran into a pretty cool website looking into travel destinations for the summer. The website is called the WHO. It is the World Health Organization www.who.int.
The website provides information about global alerts of outbreaks of diseases. After searching around, I noticed there was information about H5N1 (Avian Influenza) which I was not familiar with and wanted to share information about.
According to the website, the total cases of H5N1 reported was 495 with 292 being fatal. This is a large number of people who have died from this influenza. I was astonished. What is H5N1? I know what H1N1 was since we heard about it all winter but H5, what is that?
Historically, avian influenza viruses infected pigs and mixed with pig influenza viruses. The viruses exchanged genetic information, which led to the formation of a new virus. This new virus could then infect humans and easily spread from person to person. Previous worldwide flu epidemics (pandemics) have started this way. This is yet another bird flu.
Symptoms of avian influenza include:
Cough (dry or productive)
Fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) indicates that the pandemic of H5N1 is mainly in Asia, Europe, the Near East, and Africa and is not expected to diminish significantly in the short term. For more information, click here http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/outbreaks/current.htm.
Since this is travel season, anyone thinking of traveling out of the US should seek information about their destinations which is also found on the website above. This is a deadly virus and everyone should heed the warnings from the CDC.
Are you staying in the US for your holiday this year? If you are traveling out of the US, are you taking any precautions?
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