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Mrs Frugal

Avian Flu Factsheet from DEFRA

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There are two excellent booklets which you can print off from the DEFRA website which tell you all about keeping your hens safe. I think it's aimed mostly at commercial poultry farmers but the information on wild birds and housing might be useful to us backyard chicken keepers:-


Separating flocks from wild birds


Biosecurity and Preventing Disease

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I went to a lecture on avian flu today and it was very good and has answered alot of questions. Some of the symptoms are obviously respiration problems but they are also swelling of the head, wattles and combs and occasional swelling of the hocks along with a dull and depressed looking bird.


Pete showed a video of infected birds somewhere in indonesia which was quite unpleasant but it really can't be mistaken for anything else :shock:


He also went through the European outbreaks over the last few years and he said it is very easy to contain if caught quickly so no mass cull of everything other than the farm(s) it is detected on.


He also explained about flu vaccines and how they will make a new one if necessary and also how the bird flu differs from human which I will try to explain :? There are 3 classes A,B and C. B mainly affects students, C mainly children and A is our antigen shifting friend that contains the variants of H and N :evil:


for A there are H1-16 and N1-9 humans can catch H1,2 or 3 and N1 or 2 for example the Spanish 1918 flu was H1N1 there have been some variants around in the intervening years and the normal flu vaccine contains an example of B, C and the most common two or three A variants that are around. These have all started with water fowl at some point in history but we don't react to some of them because our body can't be infected. Pigs have the same receptors as we do which is why there is also concern about bird flu in pigs :? Birds can be infected with all of the variants horses alo see different ones to humans and dogs and cats as well but there is little human risk from these.


The danger is if a normally flu infected person sees the bird flu infection they could switch enough information to make a new infectious human form but that is very unlikely given how hard it is to catch bird flu. The reason this one is so nasty if you do catch it is the way it infects deep down in the lungs so you get a fatal pneumonia before there is time to treat the problem. But you would need a massive dose to infect you so good hygiene is the key (no snogging you chooks) and keep cuts covered.


I think that is the gist any questions :?


Please don't ask anything too complicated :lol:

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