Why are some influenza viruses transmitted so easily between people while others are still restricted mainly to birds?
Are we better prepared for flu pandemics than we were in the past?
Avian influenza (bird flu) in feral pigeons - what are the risks?
Bird flu, fowl plague, bird influenza, Asian bird flu, HPAI, LPAI, H5N1, H7N2, H7, H5N2
Influenza has been known about since 1878 and is caused by a type ‘A’ influenza virus. It has historically been known as ‘fowl plague’. There are three types of influenza virus: type A, type B and type C. Most forms of influenza are solely associated with humans, but the type A influenza virus has been found in pigs, horses and occasionally in birds and other mammals. Types B and C are human-specific and are not found in animals, mammals or birds. The type associated with recent outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) in south-east Asia is the type A influenza virus.
Thousands of influenza viruses, belonging to many sub-types, have been found in both domesticated and wild birds all over the world. Currently, avian influenza is recognised in two forms:
- Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)
- Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI)
The highly pathogenic form ('pathogenic' refers to the ability of an infecting agent to produce disease - hence, a virus that is highly pathogenic is capable of producing severe disease) is the most virulent form of the disease and can spread rapidly, particularly when found in intensively farmed domestic poultry. The mortality rate for birds infected with the highly pathogenic form can be up to 100% and the disease can develop so fast that in some cases birds will die without ever having showed any signs that they had contracted the disease. The highly pathogenic form is so virulent that one gram of infected chicken excrement can contain enough highly pathogenic virus to infect 100,000 birds. Conversely, the low pathogenic form results in a milder, less significant form of the disease with infected birds rarely becoming ill or demonstrating symptoms, but they still have the potential to pass the disease on to other birds or animals. Certain low pathogenic forms can, however, mutate into highly pathogenic strains.
Avian influenza (bird flu) is a notifiable disease in the UK and is listed in section 88 of the Animal Health Act 1981. Section 15 (1) of the Act says:
“Any person having in their possession or under their charge an animal affected or suspected of having one of these diseases must, with all practicable speed, notify that fact to a police constable.”
Loosely translated this means that if you suspect or are aware of the presence of a notifiable disease there is a legal obligation to notify a DEFRA Divisional Veterinary Manager immediately. DEFRA is the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and is responsible for overseeing animal health in the UK.
Avian influenza in birds is spread via secretions from the eyes, respiratory tract and from faecal matter, with droplets of liquid sneezed by infected birds spreading the disease extremely rapidly in environments where large numbers of birds are housed. In wild birds the situation is different with many migratory birds (including waterfowl, sea birds and shore birds) carrying the virus for long distances and being implicated in the international spread of the disease. Migratory waterfowl - most notably wild ducks - are the natural reservoir of bird flu viruses and these birds are also the most resistant to infection. They can carry the virus over great distances and excrete it in their droppings, yet develop only mild and short-lived illness themselves. There is a great deal of speculation about the importance of this very large reservoir of influenza viruses in wild birds as it is a source of viruses for other species, including humans, lower mammals, and birds. The high rate of infection allows for the maintenance and emergence of new and potentially highly dangerous strains by means of mutation and/or genetic reassortment.
Some strains of avian influenza can be transmitted to humans and other animals but this is normally only the case following high levels of exposure to infected birds and/or their faecal matter. People most at risk would be those involved in intensive farming, in particular the poultry industry. These strains will normally only cause mild symptoms in humans but a current south-east Asian strain has caused a number of deaths. Although humans can be infected from birds the current highly pathogenic H5N1 strain does not readily infect people and there is very little chance, if any, for human-to-human spread of the disease.
The main significance for human health is that birds could be the source of new strains of influenza virus. Existing bird strains could mutate to form a new strain, which could, in turn, readily infect humans. Likewise, if mammals are infected with both human and avian strains of the disease at the same time the mixing of genetic material from the two viruses might produce new strains. These strains would have the potential to spread readily between humans. If a new strain of avian flu was to mutate, humans would have little or no immunity to it and a serious worldwide epidemic could occur.
Although avian influenza has hit the headlines on numerous occasions over the last few years the disease is yet to have a major impact in the UK, with only minor outbreaks which have been confined to poultry production units. The most recent outbreaks of avian influenza have been the low pathogenic strain with an outbreak of H7N2 in Conwy, North Wales in May 2007 and more recently an outbreak of the H7 strain in St Helens, Merseyside in June 2007. In both cases restrictions that were imposed on the sites concerned were removed promptly, in the case of Conwy within 5/6 weeks of investigation and in the case of St Helens within a day of investigation. The most recent outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu was the strain H5N1 identified on a poultry unit in Holton, Suffolk in February 2007. Amongst restrictions imposed on the facility were a 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone along with a much wider Restriction Zone. All restrictions were removed from the farm just over one month later.
Although avian influenza has been restricted, in the main, to the mass production of poultry, the feral pigeon has inevitably been identified as one species that has the potential to carry and pass the disease onto humans based on the birds’ close association with man. The main focus of attention has been the racing pigeon industry due to the fact that it involves the transportation of pigeons across international borders. Clearly, if pigeons are released in EU countries where avian influenza is active, when they return to lofts in the UK there is clear potential for those birds to carry and transmit the disease to other domesticated birds, wild birds and animals and indeed humans. As it is migratory birds that are considered to be the main carriers of avian influenza, racing pigeons must also fall into this category as they are frequently required to cross international borders.
Kozak PP, Gallup J, Cummins LH, Gillman SA. Endogenous mold exposure: environmental risk to atopic and nonatopic patients. In: Gammage RB, Kay SV (eds). Indoor Air and Human Health. Chelsea, Mich: Lewis Publishers; 1985:149-170
Peltola J, Anderson MA, Raimo M, Mussalo-Rauhamaa H, Salkinoja-Salonen M., 1999 Membrane toxic substances in water-damaged construction materials and fungal pure cultures In: Johanning E. Bioaerosols, Fungi, Mycotoxins: Health effects, Assessment, Prevention and Control 1. New York: Eastern New York Occupational & Environmental Health Center. p 432–443
Peraica, M.; Radic, B.; Lucic, A.; Pavlovic, M., September 1, 1999, Diseases Caused by Molds in Humans , Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Reshetilova TA, Soloveva TF, Baskunov BP, Kozlovskii AG., 1992 Investigation of alkaloid formation by certain species of fungi of the Penicillium genus Mikrobiologiya 61:873-879
This site is not intended to give medical advice. Seek the advice of a professional for medication, treatment options, and complete knowledge of any illness. The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect my peers or professional affiliates. The information here does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supersede the professional advice of others.
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Amphetamine Abuse & Addiction Effects, Signs & Symptoms
Amphetamines are a type of central nervous system stimulant. They provide a sense of increased wakefulness, energy, attention, concentration, sociability, self-confidence, improved mood, and decreased appetite. They are frequently prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. Amphetamines appears to have a calming effect on individuals with ADHD and sometimes afternoon sleepiness has been observed in adults with the condition. Amphetamines are also used to treat narcolepsy, treatment resistant depression and obesity. When overused these medications can be addictive. Additionally, some individuals without ADHD may use amphetamines during times when high levels of productivity are required. The increase in the ability to perform and accompanying psycho-social effects often leads these individuals to continue taking amphetamines even after the demand for productivity has passed.
Twelve month incidence rates were estimates at.2% for both the 12 – 17 and 18 and older age groups. While these estimates were the same for both genders in the 18 and older age group for those ages 12-17, gender effects were reported with girls (.3%) having higher rates or amphetamine type stimulant disorder than males (.1%). While admissions for treatment were roughly the same for males (54%)and females (46%) who did not use the substance intravenously, male were 3-4 times more likely to use amphetamines intravenously than females. 12 month incidence rates were found to be higher among those age 18 – 29 (.4%) compared to those ages 45 – 64 (.1%). For 12-17 year olds, Amphetamine type stimulant abuse estimated prevalence rates were highest among Caucasians and African Americans (.3%), compared with Hispanics (.1%) and Asian Americans (.01%). In this age group, Amphetamine abuse was practically absent in Native Americans. In those ages 18 and above, however, the highest estimated prevalence rates were found among Native Americans and Native Alaskans (.6%) compared with Caucasians (.2%) and Hispanics (.2%). This particular type of substance abuse disorder was virtually non-existent in African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Past year prevalence rates of non- medical use of amphetamines across all children through college age was estimated at 5%-9% with past year prevalence rates of the disorder estimated at 5%-35% of across all individuals of college age.
The most frequently disorders that co-occur with stimulant use disorders are other substance abuse disorders, in particular substances with sedative properties which are commonly used to avoid the negative effects experienced when the stimulant begins to wear off. With Amphetamine abuse, the most common type of co-occurring substance abuse is marijuana. Other co-occurring disorders include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Gambling Disorder
- Neurological Disorders
Genetic: If you have a parent with an amphetamine use problem, it is possible you inherited a susceptibility to develop the same disorder. In addition, temperament, the inherited building blocks of personality, can predispose you to develop a problem with amphetamine use. Individuals who are open to novelty, are curious and frequently experiment with ways to increase happiness, prefer feeling overactive rather than underactive, and have difficulties coping with delayed gratification are more likely than their peers to develop an amphetamine use disorder
I am looking for comments from people who have successfully quit and the noticeable positive differences they have experienced. Like, they no longer have anxiety, depression, brain fog and etc., All I can find are the horrible withdrawal symptoms that I praying not to experience. I am wondering if those things go away or if the damage is done? I started drinking diet drinks when I was about 25 and never had any anxiety issues. At 26 or 27, I developed issues with anxiety and I am thinking this could be why and I am hoping the end result will be no more anxiety. Are their success stories anywhere?
Yes…I quit diet coke almost 3 months ago. I feel better but it took awhile. The headaches and nausea were terrible for a few days and gradually everything got better. I’m less tired most notably. It seems like my memory is better. I absolutely am saving a ton of money. Hang in there. It gets better.
Yes, I quit back in September and after going through the withdrawal headaches, my issue with chronic migraines and headaches is GONE. I think the aspartame in the Crystal Light I was drinking daily was a huge factor. I also have to say that just prior to letting go of aspartame, I also went gluten-free. So that probably contributed, as well. But I think I remember that my headaches went away after giving up the aspartame.
I have struggled with some of those other things you are mentioning – brain fog, depression, anxiety, etc. I don’t know how much the aspartame contributed to these issues, though I am convinced it didn’t help. But I also have an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and the more I learn about it, the more I am understanding that food sensitivities of all sorts can (and usually do) contribute to these types of symptoms. So one suggestion if you don’t feel top-notch after going through your aspartame detox is to clean up some other areas of your diet from common triggers such as gluten, soy and refined sugars. The Paleo diet is actually a great place to start. You also might consider getting your thyroid levels checked. The thyroid plays a HUGE role in the body and literally affects the function of every single cell, so if it’s not producing enough hormone, you are going to feel it and what you are describing are very common symptoms. If you decide to get it checked, INSIST that your doctor check TSH, Free T3, Free T4 and thyroid antibodies. Many (most) docs will only rely on the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) but that is not a true picture. The Free T3 and Free T4 show how much active thyroid hormone is truly in your system. And the presence of antibodies would mean that you have Hashimoto’s, which is the autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid. Very treatable with the right medication, diet and lifestyle. If any of this rings true for you, or you are at least curious, then do some online research.
Thanks to both of you. Today, is a week without any diet drinks or aspartame and I feel very blessed because I feel fine. I think it was the second day, I had a headache all day long, but I was also having sinus issues, so it’s hard to say which was causing it. My 17 year old son quit drinking them also (by default because I haven’t bought them) and he is having headaches, dizziness and some blurred vision.
People have suggested that I get my thyroid checked because my hair has been thinning, also. However, I read that aspartame can cause thinning hair, mostly in the temple area which is where mine is and in six weeks, if aspartame is the cause their will be a noticeable difference. But, their is a family history of thyroid issues. My moms is underactive and my grandfather on my dads side was overactive. So, maybe mine will balance out 🙂 However, my mother drinks her share of diet drinks also, so I encouraged her to quit and she did a couple of days after me because she has other symptoms.
Thank you for your response and all the info!
I never had problems with anxiety until I started drinking diet soda in 2001, it has only been 4 days off for me but so far I am feeling a lot less anxious and my blood pressure has come down. My appointment with my doctor two weeks ago my blood pressure was 134/84, today it was 117/74.
I have been on a diet coke binge for years. Being type 2 diabetic was one reason to drink them. I have been drinking 2 – 2 liters a day for about 5 years. I admit I’ve been hooked. I have a horrible memory and deal with depression. A couple a days ago I made my mind up to quit. I started having flu like symptoms, headaches, and body aches. I knew then it was the aspartame. My mind has been foggy, cloudy. Yesterday I started to feel worse so my husband and I came across your article looking for answers. He finally went and got me a 2 liter and about and I glass later I began to feel better. I’m really trying to kick this horrible addiction! Advice? Should I just stop cold turkey or began to quit them slowly? I now know how a crack addict feels! It’s horrible! Please tell me how to get off these diet cokes! Sincerely, Val Virden
I had the same symptoms about 3 months ago now. It took me 3 full weeks of flu like symptoms….might even say worse. They will subside. Find what tastes good and go with that. For me it was orange juice watered down a bit. I think it mimicked the acid of the carbonated soda. I don’t think there’s any way around it. Just go through it and it will be worth it in the end. The withdrawal was worse than any symptoms I ever had from drinking the soda. It can be done…you can do it. Patty
Pure Stevia only is natural and perfectly healthy. The problem the big companies have is that they want to patent everything and so they combine it with other things that are not healthy to control the market under their brand name. Like the person above said Truvia is not Stevia. Just check the label and be sure of what you’re buying and you’ll be fine.
Thanks for the post. I am working on an article on this subject. I hate to see people going from Aspartame Poison to Truvia Poison. The Omica Stevia on this page is the only way I would go. It is such a great product made by a great company. Trusting companies like Cargill and Coca-Cola (or PepsiCo for that matter) seems foolish given the research available.
I have been an gum chewer for years, Trident bubble gum. Some days I would chew 3 value packs, and some days chew more. I knew it had aspartame in it, but did not realize until I checked it on the internet. I threw out all my gum, and this is the first day that I have not chewed gum in years. I do have a headache. Noticed not as hungry. I am hoping my body will recover from all of this poison I have been ingesting all these years. The FDA is not doing its job. You have to trust your own body, and do what is right.
I am on my 14th day of no aspartame. I have so many of the same symptom’s of aches and pains. I noticed headaches and fatigue since stopping. Not only drinking diet soft drinks but the chewing gum I have bought for years also contains aspartame. I was shopping for a new gum yesterday and I could not find one that did not list aspartame as part of their ingredients. Has anyone found a gum that is safe to chew?
He was reassured that these symptoms were due to his body trying to renormalize itself and eliminate the old toxins from the heart drug. Sure enough, after a few days his heartbeat became steady and regular as the drug toxins were finally eliminated.
Every drug used, whether legal or illegal, leaves its mark upon the body. As the body regains health, the drug deposits are put into circulation for elimination. Since a combination of past drug deposits may enter the Bloodstream at once disconcerting symptoms may arise. Drug detoxification can be a lengthy process, but it will be aided by fasting and a diet high in fresh fruits.
Be forewarned: Old drugs that were taken even many years ago may reappear in the bloodstream as they leave fatty tissues and the organs. Drug toxin elimination may express itself in a series of rashes as they leave the body through the skin.
Heavy smokers or coffee drinkers may experience similar symptoms when they withdraw from their drug. Nervous irritability and emotional outbreaks are common symptoms of these drug addicts when they are detoxifying.
Nicotine and caffeine damage the nervous system and upset the vascular system, so symptoms such as headaches, edginess, and extreme lassitude may be expected. Such symptoms from these drugs usually lessen after three to ten days.
Once salt use is stopped and the health improves, old salt deposits in the body exit through the skin and kidneys. Sometimes the elimination is so intense that a person may have a continual salty taste in the mouth for days. The skin may become crusted with salt or it may smell of the particular condiment that is being eliminated (such as onions, peppers, or vinegar).
In Mexico, corpses have been found in the desert that were untouched by buzzards and hyenas. The reason? The people had eaten such large quantities of hot peppers all their lives that their skins were actually too spicy for the scavengers to eat. Condiments can never be used by the body, and so they must either be stored or eliminated when the health is improved.
Salt elimination may also cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. People who go on salt-free diets may actually experience a slight increase in their blood pressure as the heavy elimination of salt begins. Later the blood pressure renormalizes itself and eventually becomes below the norm on a salt-free diet.
Eliminating sugar from the diet may make a person feel slightly nervous and hyperactive until the energy levels adjust to a sugar-free diet.
Mood changes, however, are usually more noticeable than any physical symptoms when sugar is eliminated. Reformed sugar addicts may feel periods of unaccountable depression as their blood sugar level tries to right itself. Getting off the sugar roller coaster, with its rapid rises and falls in blood sugar levels, is easier when a diet high in raw foods is followed. Such a diet renormalizes blood sugar levels and promotes tranquility of emotions.
Almost every person is poisoned by deposits of heavy metals in the body. Lead, aluminum, copper and arsenic collect in organs throughout the body. Because of their heavy weight, they are difficult to eliminate, and may cause discomfort as they leave the body.
Lead enters the body through auto exhaust, paints and canned foods. Aluminum may come from preparing or storing food in aluminum containers. Arsenic is present on sprayed foods, and so on.
Since these metals are heavy, they, tend to remain in the body until a cleansing diet or fast is followed. As these metals come out, headaches and a general achiness all through the body may occur. The gums may hurt and the kidneys may throb as these metals leave the organs and bones.
Occasionally, you can actually taste the metal that is being eliminated. Lead, especially often leaves a metallic taste on the tongue when it is leaving the body.
The best treatment for mono is plenty of rest, especially early in the course of the illness when symptoms are the most severe. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to relieve a fever and aching muscles. Never give aspirin to a child who has a viral illness because its use has been linked to Reye syndrome, which may lead to liver failure and can even be fatal.
In most cases, mono symptoms go away in a matter of weeks with plenty of rest and fluids. If they seem to linger, or if you have any other questions, talk with your child's doctor.
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Deadly New Virus Warning: What are the Symptoms Of The Virus That Killed 8?
By iScienceTimes Staff on March 8, 2013 12:54 PM EST
A deadly new virus warning has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a statement released Thursday, the CDC warned state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly new virus that has never been seen before in humans.
"Genetic sequence analyses have shown that this new virus is different from any other known human coronaviruses," the CDC stated in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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The new virus has infected 14 people and killed eight since it was first reported in Sept. 2012. Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, with three instances in the United Kingdom. No cases have been reported in the U.S., the CDC noted.
According to the CDC's analysis, the virus is a coronavirus, which are thought to cause the majority of all common colds in human adults. It is also part of the same family of viruses that caused the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003, Fox News reports. When SARS first appeared, it quickly spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia before it was contained. There were 774 total deaths reported that were caused by SARS, most of which were in China. Viruses of the coronavirus family also cause a number of diseases in animals.
Three of the deadly new virus cases occurred in the UK within a single family. The small outbreak began with a 60-year-old man who had recently traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and who developed a respiratory illness on Jan. 24 while still in the Middle East. The man was hospitalized after returning to the UK, and has been receiving intensive care. Another man living in the 60-year-old's household also got the virus and developed a respiratory illness on Feb. 6. He died shortly after. A second individual, a female in the house, developed a respiratory illness on Feb. 5, but did not need to be hospitalized and has recovered. This is how the CDC learned that the virus can be transmitted through human-to-human contact.
Symptoms of infection with this deadly new virus include severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC recommends that anyone who traveled from the Arabian Peninsula recently who develops an unexplained respiratory infection within ten days should seek immediate medical treatment. The CDC has yet to issue a warning about restricting travel to the areas affected by the deadly new virus.
Updates related to the deadly new virus can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/ncv/.