Bird Flu, or avian influenza, is a virus that affects birds and can be spread quickly from one bird to another. People in proximity to birds, such as those who work on chicken farms, may be infected, as well as those who come in contact with bird droppings through contaminated water or aerosolized materials in live bird markets. Currently, a deadly strain of the virus—H5N1—is infecting birds and people in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. It is deadly to most birds that catch the virus and has killed nearly 60 percent of the people who have been infected with it.
The incubation period for avian influenza is typically 3-5 days. That means that people infected will usually develop symptoms within five days. Bleeding from the nose and gums were reported as early symptoms of bird flu. Experts say the symptoms come on suddenly, and within days, fatal complications may develop.
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