We keep chickens in Ghana, a very small scale commercial farm with both broilers and layers. So the health of the flock, and the consequent health of the people who work regularly with the chickens, and ourselves, is an ongoing concern. We keep the chickens screened in, and are careful about footwear, gloves and other prophylactic precautions. But bird flu is an ongoing source of concern and I watch the news for any new developments. Recent research in Vietnam indicates why bird flu is so deadly in humans, so much more than the usual strains of flu.
From Discovery Reports:
Tests showed that H5N1 puts higher loads of virus into victims’ throats, as opposed to their nose – like a human flu would do. The virus also replicates to much higher levels than a common flu. A victim’s immune system responds by an intense inflammatory response, say the researchers. This response, combined with the effects of the virus, is the real killer.
. . .
The findings suggest antiviral drugs are an effective way to treat patients with bird flu, says the study.