Avian Flu Virus

About the Avian Flu Virus

The current Asian outbreak of avian flu, also known as bird flu, is associated with the influenza A strain H5N1 flu virus. Although not the same as the Spanish flu virus that claimed 20 million to 50 million lives worldwide in the 1918 outbreak, the current avian flu strain does share many characteristics with the 1918 strain. Both scientists and governments around the world are studying this threat very closely and some have warned of the potential for another pandemic outbreak. Initial studies have shown that Tamiflu may be effective in helping to fight the effects of this flu virus if the medication is taken very early after flu symptoms appear.

Oseltamivir, sold under the brand name Tamiflu, is one of several antiviral medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment and prevention of influenza. Flu shots are still the best way to prevent someone from developing the flu, but as of this writing no vaccine is available to protect humans from the avian H5N1 influenza virus. According to the CDC, development of a vaccine has begun.

Tamiflu, which is generically known as oseltamivir, is part of a family of flu fighting medicines called neuraminidase inhibitors. Tamilflu is used in the treatment of viral infections caused by the influenza A and influenza B viruses. This treatment has shown to be effective in fighting these viruses if treatment starts within two days of the onset of flu symptoms. Tamiflu works by blocking the advance of the viral infection and thus giving the body’s immune system a better chance for fighting the virus. Tamiflu can help you get back to being healthy fast.

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