This article was originally written by Sarah Jenkins
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Bird flu is a scary and devastating disease. It has been decades since an influenza virus has had such misfortunate potential. With the virus sweeping through most of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, it is just a matter of time before it reaches every corner of the world. If the virus mutates, an even more deadly issue will be at hand. With such negative predictions, it is almost impossible not to imagine yourself or a love one at the hands of the disease. What would you do if this virus hit home?
The important thing to understand is the infection of bird flu is not necessarily a death sentence. Although a large number of deaths have occurred, almost half of those infected survived the disease. Therefore, with advanced medicine and proper care, a person may be able to live after bird flu.
What you do if someone you know is diagnosed will greatly depend on how well you know the person. Is it a friend? Acquaintance? Family member? Obviously, if it is a close friend or family member, you will want to be as supportive as possible. This will be a difficult time for them and any assistance you can provide will probably be greatly appreciated. On the other hand, if you are only dealing with an acquaintance, you may feel relieved and fortunate to have not suffered the same fate. While you may feel guilt at this thought, you can consider it a wake up call to bring the risk to your attention. You may also use this time to lend a helping hand, although you do not feel emotionally obligated to do so.
When someone you know becomes infected, you should also consider the source of the infection and the severity of the threat present. If a family member becomes ill while working on a family farm, you may ascertain infected agricultural animals are to blame and the threat must be alleviated. On the other hand, if no apparent cause is known, human to human contact may be a consideration. This is not only essential information for you to know, but also health professionals in your area. Currently human contact is not a transmission means; therefore, the onset of such would be of great concern.
The important thing to remember is to be there for your loved ones and feel blessed that you are available to help them as opposed to sharing their fate. You will, of course, want to be careful not to become infected during this time, if it can be avoided.