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Bird Flu

By Rich Calton

We hear so much of late about the "Bird flu, or avian flu, and SARS among others. Avian flu as its name implies, is a disease which started in birds and so far has not generally mutated to be transmitted directly from person to person, YET. With our rapid transport system today you could be standing in Asia [where most of the exposure is right now] and only a few short hours later be back in the US of A and have exposed hundreds of others to an illness you are still unaware you have. There are some people comparing the possible consequences of this disease mutating to being transmittable from person to person type of disease to the pandemic flu outbreak of 1918 in which many millions died.

What causes the flu? The flu is caused by a virus. Currently we do not have a good treatment of any kind for a virus. Sure there is "tama flu and some other anti-virals out there and if you take it soon enough it will reputedly shorten the course of the disease. If you don't take it in time it will have no affect on you. Projections are that if the bird flu mutates and becomes a real issue for us that the pharmaceutical companies will not be able to make enough of the medications in time to be of any true value to most of us.

What about taking an anti-biotic? Well, humm, let us think about that. The disease is caused by a virus and an anti-biotic only works on - yep, bacteria.

We all know the symptoms of the bird flu.

General stuffiness, fever, body ache and listlessness. How can we know the difference between bird flu and all the rest of them? Short of doing lab work, we can not tell which kind of flu we have. To a large extent it does not matter as for the most part we deal with it the same.

We can provide supportive care and basically so can you. The first needs are fluids and electrolytes.. and a lot of it. Eat right, soups, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, and keep the person comfortable.

Prevention however is the key.

The number one thing to do is, WASH your hands often with soap and water. Example times would be before and after using the restroom or eating. Limit your use of other people's telephones. When you cough, do so into your sleeve not your hands.

In the school systems when they have a large outbreak of flu ECT, they will often have the staff and students stay home for several days to disrupt the spread of germs. Basically it is a type of medical isolation. There are times when this would be a more productive way dealing with employee illness too. Oh but we can't shut our businesses down, we HAVE to stay productive! We use to think that way too until we discovered that our group was MORE productive by being de-centralized!

So to recap - wash your hands often and well with plain soap and water, drink & eat right, and limit your exposure to sickness.

Hope this helps you stay healthy

About The Author
Rich Calton has been a healthcare provider for 30+ years. Additionally he is a general member of the team at, a healthcare staffing and education group which has expanded into providing Virtual Administrative support staff to other groups.


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