Health officials want you to be on the lookout for bird flu.
And you thought cold and flu season would end when summer got here!
Bird flu has spread across the US like wildfire this year—after over 200 outbreaks, and the destruction of tens of millions of birds, it hasn’t ended.
So far, no humans have contracted either of the US bird flu viruses, H5N2 and H5N8, but the further it spreads, and the longer the outbreaks go on, the more the risk goes up, which is why the warning to be vigilant is going out.
Bird flu was transmitted throughout the US by wild birds. Ducks and geese have mostly been fingered, but it’s worth keeping an eye on songbirds, too. And for people working with backyard flocks, keep a closer eye on your hens. Watch for signs of bird flu, including staggering or acting lethargic.
When you’re cleaning your backyard, hose off bird poop from a distance. In other countries, with other strains of bird flu, human infection happens with close interaction with infected birds, as well as their sheddings (feathers, poop, etc.).
If you come down with flu-like symptoms and you’ve had interaction with birds, officials want you to take it easy, and do everything you can to get better, including see a doctor.
In addition to whatever your doctor says, follow standard viral-infection care: take it easy, stay home from work, stay hydrated, force yourself to eat (if you’re having trouble, stick to lean protein), and wait it out. For most diseases, 2 weeks is the mark for going back to a doctor if symptoms aren’t improving.
For extra support (especially if you need to continue caring for birds through the outbreak), support your immune system with colloidal silver.
Do you know someone who’s been affected by bird flu?