Good hygiene might prevent bird flu spread

Oct 19, 2005

A Purdue University scientist says there's a lot people can do to help prevent a bird flu pandemic, with the most obvious being good hygiene.

The World Health Organization has confirmed at least 60 deaths due to bird flu. But if the virus is transmitted human to human, it's been estimated millions of people could be killed.

James McGlothlin, an associate professor in the Purdue School of Health Sciences, says basic, common-sense hygiene practices -- frequent hand washing and covering one's mouth when coughing or sneezing -- are obvious ways in which the spread of all viruses can be prevented.

McGlothlin says avian flu bears a striking resemblance to the 1918 flu that killed approximately 50 million people worldwide. But, he said, the big difference today is we know the virus could be coming, so we can take steps to prevent a pandemic.

He said the worst case scenario is one in which a person who has the human flu virus is exposed to another person who has the avian flu and the two viruses mix and then mutate, forming a new virus that spreads from human to human and for which humans have no immunity.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Search continues at ancient Greek burial mound (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Revealing political partisanship a bad idea on resumes

23 minutes ago

Displaced political aides looking for a new, nonpartisan job in the wake of the midterm power shuffle may fare better if they tone down any political references on their resumes, finds a new study from Duke University.

Recommended for you

When shareholders exacerbate their own banks' crisis

Nov 21, 2014

Banks are increasingly issuing 'CoCo' bonds to boost the levels of equity they hold. In a crisis situation, bondholders are forced to convert these bonds into a bank's equity. To date, such bonds have been ...

Trouble with your boss? Own it

Nov 21, 2014

Don't get along with your boss? Your job performance may actually improve if the two of you can come to grips with the poor relationship.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.