The Coronavirus scare is still haunting the world and now a new virus- Bird flu (Avian Flu) is gripping parts of India including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerala. An outbreak of bird flu was reported which prompted authorities in Kerala to cull ducks, hens, and other domestic birds. Reports suggest that around 48,000 birds will be culled.Also Read - 189 Birds Dead in Rajasthan Due to Avian Influenza

Causes of Bird Flu Also Read - 'Nothing to Panic': Spread of Bird Flu From Human to Human Rare, Clarifies AIIMS Chief Dr Guleria

Bird Flu takes place due to the H5N1 virus and is caused by a type of influenza virus. When bird flu strikes humans, it can be deadly. Humans can contract bird flu when they come in close contact with sick birds. And in some cases, it can also be contagious. Undercooked poultry meat or eggs from infected birds can transmit flu, as per Mayo Clinic. Poultry meat is safe to eat if it’s been cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C). Eggs should be cooked until the yolks and whites are firm. Also Read - India Reports First Bird Flu Death as 12-Year-Old Boy Dies at AIIMS Delhi, Staff Placed Under Isolation

Symptoms of Bird Flu

The symptoms start to show within two to seven days of infection. The symptoms include:

-Cough

-Fever

-Sore throat

-Muscle aches

-Headache

-Shortness of breath

People often complain of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. In rare cases, people also suffer from a mild eye infection (conjunctivitis).

Complications of Bird Flu

Bird flu can also lead to life-threatening complications, including:

-Pneumonia

-Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

-Respiratory failure

-Kidney dysfunction

-Heart problems

How To Cure It:

– Do not consume domesticated birds: Avoid buying meat from open-market, small farms.

– Wash your hands- Wash your hands properly to avoid infections. Always keep a sanitizer handy.

– Take a flu shot: It can’t really give you protection from the bird flu but it may help reduce the risk of simultaneous infection with bird and human flu viruses, says Mayo Clinic.

– Antiviral drugs- It can be treated with antiviral drugs. It is necessary to take medicines within 48 hours of showing symptoms. Apart from a person infected with bird flu, other members of the household who came in contact with them are also advised to take these medicines, even if they do not have symptoms of the disease.