Much research has been carried out to better understand the threat posed by the pigeon (feral and domesticated) and research is ongoing in many parts of the world, particularly in those countries worst affected. A thorough scientific research programme was undertaken following the outbreak of the highly pathogenic strain H5N2 in the north-eastern United States (in 1983/4) to assess the potential for wild birds to spread disease amongst local farms. The following species were included in this survey:
- Wild and free-flying domestic ducks and geese
- Wild or free-flying domestic birds (including pigeons)
- Dead or sick birds within the quarantine area
Attempts to isolate the virus were conducted on a sample of 4,132 birds, of which 473 were pigeons, and of this number 92.6% were collected from infected farms. A further 81 feet, taken from dead pigeons, were also assessed for the purposes of the research - this is because pigeons commonly feed on agricultural sites and by walking in infected faecal matter the birds could potentially pass on the disease. In order to assess the sample, tracheal (throat) and vent (anus) swabs were taken from each bird. None of the 4,132 birds collected tested positive for the H5N2 strain. Blood samples taken from 383 pigeons were also negative for antibodies (antibodies are protective substances that are produced by the defensive network of the body in response to an infection) to avian influenza, an indication that infection by this virus had not occurred in these birds. An additional 50 pigeons, collected from within the quarantine zone, were also negative for the influenza virus. Experimental attempts made to infect pigeons with the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian influenza did not result in either multiplication of the virus or any evidence of antibodies in the blood. The results of all of these studies indicated that pigeons were not infected with avian influenza and did not spread it.
In another outbreak of avian influenza in the USA in 1993 (in the period February to May) blood samples were collected from 17 flocks of pigeons located within the quarantine area for evidence of antibodies to avian influenza. Flock sizes varied from 2000 - 3000 birds and represented a total of between 34,000 and 51,000 birds. Approximately 10 birds per flock were sampled (a total of 160 birds) and in every instance all pigeons tested were negative for antibodies to this avian influenza.
Another study published in 1996 on the susceptibility of pigeons to avian influenza found that groups of pigeons inoculated with two strains of highly pathogenic influenza virus, or two strains of non-pathogenic virus, remained healthy during the 21-day trial period. The sample did not shed virus and did not develop antibodies to this disease - further evidence that pigeons are not a factor in the spread of avian influenza. More recent scientific evidence, from experimental work in 2001/2002, has shown that pigeons infected with the highly pathogenic form of the virus (designated H5N1 of Hong Kong origin) did not develop signs of this disease and did not have detectable changes to the disease in their tissues. Neither was the virus found in their tissues and nor was it re-isolated from swabs of tissues. These findings indicated once again that pigeons (along with starlings, rats and rabbits used in these studies) are largely resistant to infection with this highly pathogenic strain of the virus.
It is quite clear from all the information available that avian influenza continues to be a threat to both humans and birds, but the likelihood of its transmission to humans as a result of contact with the feral pigeon or its faeces is virtually nil. The feral pigeon is reputed to be the ultimate disease-carrier, harbouring the capability to spread a huge variety of diseases to both humans and other birds and animals, but in reality this is a myth. As can be seen from the findings of several research programmes, the feral pigeon is at the bottom of the list of those species that have the potential to spread avian influenza and it is likely that this is the case with most of the other diseases that are commonly associated with the pigeon.
PCRC, Unit 4, Sabre Buildings, Sabre Close, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6TW
Flu Season 2015: Influenza In US ‘Widespread,’ But Fear May Outpace Threat
Nurses prepare influenza vaccine injections during a flu shot clinic at Dorchester House, a health care clinic, in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan. 12, 2013. Photo: Reuters
With an unforeseen mutation in this year’s dominant influenza virus and a faulty vaccine, 43 states have seen “widespread” transmission of the flu this season, according to the latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu activity was rampant in 29 states during the final week of December, up from 22 states a week earlier. Twenty-one pediatric deaths have been reported.
The most prevalent virus of the 2014-2015 flu season has been influenza A H3N2, a particularly severe infection responsible for the three deadliest flu seasons since 2000. Health officials, however, said this year's threat was not entirely unexpected. “I don’t think it’s anything we haven’t seen before,” Richard Webby, virology expert with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, told International Business Times. “We know H3N2 dominates a season, we know it tends to be more severe.”
Three out of four of the last 12 flu seasons reached epidemic levels, according to the Associated Press. Several so-called drift viruses – versions of H3N2 that are slightly genetically different from the main virus – have spread this season, meaning Americans have become more susceptible to the flu. “The antibodies that people made last time probably don’t work as well against [the new strain,]” Webby said. “That’s a consequence of the virus changing.”
Household bleach mixed at a ratio of 1:32 is a inexpensive and effective way of destroying the virus on washable items.
Cat flu cannot be spread to humans.
Feline Herpes Virus symptoms usually lasts for about 7 -14 days and Calicivirus symptoms usually last for about 7 - 10 days.
Will my cat be a carrier of Cat Flu?
When cats have recovered from Cat Flu they continue to shed the virus especially at times of stress. Although they do not show any symptoms they have in fact become a carrier of the virus.
With Feline Herpes Virus the carrier state can last the lifetime of the cat.
How can I prevent Cat Flu
There are vaccinations available for Feline Herpes Virus-1 and Feline Calicivirus (FCV) Discuss a vaccination regime with your veterinarian.
Avian Flu Symptoms: How Can You Tell If You Have H5N1?
North America's first death from the H5N1 virus, also known as avian or bird flu, was reported in Alberta today, contracted by a victim who had just returned from China. While officials have been quick to reassure Canadians that this was an isolated incident and not related to the seasonal flu, this potentially fatal illness has many wondering about the symptoms of this influenza.
Most avian flu viruses do not infect humans, but some, like the highly pathogenic H5N1, can cause severe infections, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
When the H5N1 strain of bird flu appears in humans, it mimics a severe case of the flu, like H1N1 (swine flu). Flu.gov, the U.S. site for flu information, notes that symptoms of H5N1 in humans include:
- Acute respiratory distress
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
The diagnosis of H5N1 based on symptoms alone is difficult because they are so similar to other flu strains; laboratory testing is required to confirm infection, according to the the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The bird flu is generally spread to people through direct contact with infected birds or poultry livestock. The H5N1 virus can live in the environment for extended periods, but cannot be contracted by eating properly handled, cooked poultry or eggs, and thus far has not shown any sign of spreading easily from person to person, though that is always a likelihood, warns the CDC. As the Lung Association notes, there has been limited transmission in the case of long-term contact with sick relatives.
In Winnipeg, hospitals recorded up to 900 emergency room visits per day. The average is about 700 to 750.
“We’ve experienced, over the last 48 to 72 hours, a significant increase in the number of people reporting to our emergency department,” Lori Lamont, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s chief nursing officer, said last month.
Alberta Health Services says the province’s influenza season has hit Alberta seniors particularly hard.
“It is hitting older people significantly harder than it did last year,” said Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
“The rate of lab-confirmed cases amongst those over the age of 80 is four times higher this season than it was last season.”
WATCH ABOVE: New statistics confirm Alberta’s flu season started a few weeks early and it’s hitting older people particularly hard. Su-Ling Goh reports.
Doctors aren’t surprised that this year’s flu season is leading to increased hospital activity.
The H3N2 flu season in North America shares similarities with what happened months ago during the southern hemisphere’s flu season.
Each year, strains of influenza mutate and re-emerge, infecting victims and triggering a new season. Those of us in the northern hemisphere keep a watchful eye on the flu in the southern hemisphere, which affects residents during their winter (or our summer).
The H3N2 strain is what affected seniors in the southern hemisphere and it was most pronounced on the tail end of the flu season, within the last six weeks, according to Dr. Gerald Evans, a Queen’s University medicine professor and chief of infectious diseases at Kingston General Hospital.
H3N2, traditionally, is more potent. Evans warned in November that if health officials are anticipating an H3N2 predominant season, there could be more hospitalizations.
On a diet of fruits and vegetables, constipation disappears, never to return.
Weight loss is entirely normal when the diet is improved. Some individuals become alarmed when their weight falls rapidly. In most cases, this is not a cause for alarm.
From five to fifteen pounds of water weight alone may be lost when salt is completely eliminated from the diet. In some individuals, five to twenty pounds of old fecal matter may be eliminated from the colon. All of this is useless weight, and you should say, “Good riddance!”
The body will also try to eliminate all diseased tissue in an effort to rebuild a healthy body. It will try to strip itself down to the bare foundations and then begin to add on only healthy tissue.
Weight loss may occur for six months to a year. Exercises for muscle growth, such as weight lifting and swimming, will help rebuild the body with lean, muscular tissue. Be sure that your diet includes sufficient amounts of sweet fruits that are high in calories to balance out the low-calorie salads.
Usually, you can expect to weigh about twenty pounds less after you renormalize your body from the typical high-meat and fat diet of most Americans.
Almost all the symptoms experienced during a dietary change are due to the body’s efforts to detoxify itself as rapidly as possible!
You can help in this process by fasting and getting plenty of rest. Be sure you get all the sleep you want and try to avoid stressful situations. During detoxification, you need as much peace and privacy as possible.
Never halt any symptom with medication. It will only reappear later in greater intensity.
Above all else, cultivate a positive attitude about what you are doing. Do not feel like you are punishing yourself or that you are making any great sacrifices. You are recovering your health, and that is the greatest reward that can be expected.
Chickens infected with bird flu may have decreased egg production, and may lay soft-shelled or misshapen eggs, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Chickens with avian influenza may exhibit purple discolouration of the wattles (fleshy growths that hang from the throat), combs (growth on top of the head) or legs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The head, eyelids, comb, wattles and hocks may also begin to swell. Pinpoint haemorrhages can appear, especially on the feet and shanks.
Lack of energy is a common symptom of bird flu, as well as loss of appetite and decreased coordination. Some birds with a mild strain of avian influenza may simply have ruffled feathers.
Highly lethal forms of avian influenza can cause sudden death in poultry. Chickens, especially young birds, may succumb to the illness so quickly that no symptoms are obvious before death, according to the University of Florida. According to WHO, the lethal H5N1 strain of avian influenza has a mortality rate that can reach 100 per cent within 48 hours.
Réponse à l’éternelle question: Ai-je le rhume ou la grippe?
Il n’y a pas grand chose qui m’irrite sérieusement… sauf quand les termes « grippe » et « rhume » sont utilisés de façon interchangeable.
Si tu as déjà eu la grippe (i.e. l’influenza), tu es au courant que c’est une infection complètement différente et vraiment plus sévère. Certaines personnes (dont moi-même) ne se souviennent même pas d’avoir déjà eu la grippe dans leur vie.
Quant au rhume, on l’a tous 2-3 fois par année.
Voici les principales ressemblances et différences entre ces deux problèmes de santé et un organigramme (vraiment très peu utile) pour les distinguer.
BONUS: à la demande générale, les versions PDF en format facilement imprimable (8.5 x 11) sont fournies plus bas.
NOTE QUE JE ME DOIS D’AJOUTER (MÊME SI JE LA JUGE INUTILE): Vous comprendrez qu’il ne s’agit pas là d’outils diagnostics sérieux… La grippe (influenza) est une condition grave et qui peut même être mortelle. Dans tous les cas, consulter votre médecin et/ou votre pharmacien pour évaluer vos symptômes.
Versions PDF pour impression (8.5 x 11)
À lire sur le rhume:
À lire sur la grippe:
Si tu as aimé cet article, le Pharmachien te suggère également:
59 Responses to Réponse à l’éternelle question: Ai-je le rhume ou la grippe?
Bravo! Moi aussi ça m’énerve*** cette confusion entre le banal rhume et la vraie grippe. Je trouve très bien tes dessins ainsi que le jeu de l’Oie comme arbre décisionnel. Si tu veux, je peux te faire, au fil du temps, la partie homéo des pathologies. Ensuite tu mets en forme à ta sauce acadienne qui est super drôle. Il faut d’ailleurs que je me procure un dictionnaire Canadien Français car y’a des “colloquialisms” (en anglais ds le txt) que je ne connais pas et qui sont souvent pour nous à pisser de rire!! Par ex. j’ai entendu récemment que, pour parler d’une allumeuse vous disiez que c’est une “agace pissette”. Comme c’est joli, et comme c’est vrai en plus!!
Allez, une toute bonne journée.