By A.A. Avlicino

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Additional resources for Beat the Flu: How to Stay Healthy Through the Coming Bird Flu Pandemic

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A characteristic here, a characteristic there. Thus the bird virus started to become a bit more recognisable to the human immune system and the mortality rate began to drop until it is now down to 35 per cent. We have seen that H5N1 needs to 34 How Can This Pandemic Start? ‘swap’ genes with a truly human influenza virus in order to become a pandemic. Naturally, it depends what genes it swaps. In one particular individual it might swap genes that make it incredibly easy to transmit from person to person, yet only cause a bit of fever and a sniffle or two.

The easier it is for one person to spread the virus to another person, then the faster the pandemic will spread. When H5N1 killed 73 per cent of all the people it infected, it was primarily a bird-only virus. It was quite difficult for humans to be infected. They literally had to be in constant contact with bird faeces and sooner or later, begrudgingly, the bird virus would concede to infect and kill them, since the human immune systems had no hope of recognising what these new strange viruses were.

40 What You Can Do Now Transport • Try to adopt flexible hours so that your commute is not at peak travel times, minimising the number of people you will be forced into close proximity with. • If someone sits next to you on a bus or train, stand and move to a less crowded area. • Never sit facing anyone. Sit so you are facing the same direction as the person in front of you. • Don’t stand in the crowd trying to get on the bus or train first. Let them all go in and then get on at the last minute.

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Beat the Flu: How to Stay Healthy Through the Coming Bird by A.A. Avlicino
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