Bird Flu Preparation


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Bird flu preparation in the United States has become a joint effort of the U. S. Geologic Survey (USGS) and the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). You may be familiar with the USDA stamp of approval on fresh meats that you currently buy at the supermarket, but this is not their only function. They routinely inspect poultry farms and test domesticated poultry for infection.

At this time, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is no need for anyone in the United States to wear a “bird flu mask”. But, of course, there are companies that are capitalizing on American fears arising from the deaths in small villages and towns throughout Asia and the Middle East. Some companies will sell you a bird flu mask, while others sell a bird flu preparation kit.

Is a bird flu mask or a bird flu preparation kit actually necessary for the average person living in the United States at this time or anytime in the near future? No, because the strain of bird flu that has killed people does not exist in the United States. Other strains of bird flu have been found in poultry in the U. S. , but only one case involved a human and he was a USDA employee doing his job, inspecting poultry farms and taking samples when he contracted a weak bird flu virus. Most USDA employees wear protective clothing. He may have even been wearing a bird flu mask.

The U. S. government's bird flu preparation involving the USDA and the USGS includes testing wild migratory birds in Alaska and elsewhere for a specific virus, H5N1. While collecting these samples, employees may want to wear a bird flu mask, but they know that the virus does not transfer easily from birds to humans. Wild birds are mostly unaffected by the virus. Chickens and other domesticated poultry are another story. This virus kills poultry and it is for this reason that most bird flu preparation efforts are focused on protecting poultry farmers from the financial devastation that losing thousands of chickens, turkeys or other birds could cause.

Most large poultry farmers in the United States keep their birds in large buildings that keep the wild birds out and the domesticated birds in. This is not a new effort at bird flu preparation, but a standard that has been in effect for many years. While farm workers wear protective suits, boots and head coverings, it is unclear whether they wear a bird flu mask.

Scientists expect that if the H5N1 strain arrives in the Americas through migratory birds, they will be able to control it for the most part. There may be some losses of free roaming flocks. There may be farm workers who get sick from the strain and there could be deaths in the United States, but the general public is not at risk, does not need to wear a bird flu mask and does not need a bird flu preparation kit. Practicing good health habits and common sense, taking a daily multi-vitamin and maybe an immune system booster are the only things that a person who lives in the United States, is in reasonably good health and does not work on a chicken farm need do for bird flu preparation . For more information about colds and flus or immune system boosters visit .

Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a health care professional and currently writes informational articles for the Immune System Booster Guide. Read more at


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