Although the most normal is that the bird flu It is transmitted mainly between birds, it can also be the case that it spreads to humans. Therefore, in the event of an outbreak of the disease, all possible precautions must be taken to avoid them. And, logically, these precautions go through do not hug infected birds no matter how much I appreciate them.

This is the warning that several scientists have launched in the face of the recent outbreak of avian flu in United Kingdom. The reason why they have wanted to make this clarification is that they have seen many farmers on social networks hugging their sick birds. A good example of this is the emu Emmanuelfamous on TikTok for intruding on his owner’s videos.

The bond with animals for some people may be the same as with humans. Therefore, it is understandable that there are those who seek hug them to comfort them. But, in the same way that we isolate ourselves from sick humans when they have a contagious disease, we must also isolate ourselves from birds infected with avian flu.

What is bird flu and how is it spread?

Avian influenza is a disease caused by subtypes of the virus Influenza which mainly affects birds, although it can also occur in mammals such as humans.

Among its most common symptoms are cough, runny nose and eyes, ruffled plumage, and decreased egg production. However, more serious forms can occur that cause bluish coloration due to lack of oxygen, neurological problems, hemorrhages and, in the worst cases, death. death.

It is highly contagious and can affect entire farms if no action is taken. As for its spread to humans, although it is not very common, with just 1,000 infections since 2003, there have been some outbreaks. Even so, it is an epidemiological concern for humans as well; since, if the bird flu virus were to reach recombine with some of the flu viruses that affect us, would have the potential to become a major pandemic.

It is spread mainly by contact with the feces or respiratory secretions of infected animals. Therefore, hugging birds with the disease may not be the best of ideas.

Don’t hug them.

The images of Eco Sister kissing the emu Emmanuel affected by the avian flu outbreak, have generated a great stir on social media. On the one hand, it is emotional to see the bond that has been formed between bird and human. But, on the other hand, as several experts in infectious diseases have warned, it is a temerity.

Such close contact can lead to contagion that would not only endanger the emu’s caretaker. Also other people and the rest of the birds on the farm. That’s why, contact should be avoided.

The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that zoonotic diseases, which are passed to humans from an animal reservoir, are not game. Once an outbreak in animals is detected, everything possible must be done to stop it, and this also involves avoiding close contact with the affected specimens. We must not forget that each time a virus passes to a new host, it has the opportunity to replicate, make copies of itself and, in the process, make mistakes that lead it to mutate and perhaps become more dangerous. That is something we don’t want to happen either.

That’s why, even if it’s hard, avoid contagion with infected people. Whatever species they are.

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