In 2006, the world prepared for a possible pandemic.

A system of migrating birds allowed the spread of a specific microbe—H5N1, or the Avian Influenza Virus—to move from Asia to Africa and Europe. Fortunately, the disease did not become airborne or spread to vast populations.

However, that does not mean that H5N1 is no longer a concern. Today, we’ll speak about the spread and symptoms of H5N1, as well as good strategic routines you can incorporate to make sure that your home is completely safe from this specific pathogen.

Where does the Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1) commonly live?

First things first: It’s a common misconception that the Avian Influenza Virus—sometimes called the ‘bird flu’—can only infect birds. This is not the case. Most types of the virus can only infect birds; however, the infection can spread to humans too.

Several years ago, the world watched in fear as many of the first people who contracted H5N1 died. Right now, it’s believed that the virus does not spread easily from person to person; rather, from infected birds to humans who are in close contact. Since this is the case, most experts are not currently worried about this virus spreading in any significant way.

However, if you have an H5N1 infection, it’s important to pursue medical treatment. If you believe that you may have been exposed to the bird flu, it’s also a good idea to alert your medical care team ahead of time so they can take precautions as they see fit.

The infection will prompt flu-like symptoms, including respiratory difficulties, muscle aches, a high fever, coughs and diarrhea.

Where did H5N1 come from? How do we treat it?

In 1997, scientists identified the first outbreak of the avian influenza virus in humans. The source of the outbreak was clear—the people involved had handled infected, wild poultry.

Once a care team identifies that a patient has contracted a disease from the H5N1 virus, they will likely prescribe antiviral medication. In most cases, this works to alleviate symptoms and kill the disease quickly.

How can we prevent the avian influenza virus from spreading?  

Much of the strategy that comes to play in avoiding the H5N1 virus consists of avoiding open-air markets or contact with birds that might carry the virus. It’s also important to thoroughly cook any poultry and eggs (to an internal temperature of 165F, for meat). Washing your hands well and often and taking steps to disinfect your surfaces after exposure to poultry, will also help keep your environment secure.

It’s important to realize that simply cleaning your cutting boards and countertops may not be enough. This is a vital first step, but to be completely sure that there isn’t any viral matter in your home, you need to remember that your cleaning routine needs to include cleaning and disinfecting.

Fortunately, with a product that does the heavy lifting, this doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

Avoid the Avian Influenza Virus in Your Home Using a Powerful Cleaner & Disinfectant

Looking for a solution to both clean and disinfect your non-porous surfaces? Our All-Purpose Cleaner is exactly what you’re looking for. Make sure to follow the manufacturer recommended procedures, spraying to fully cover the surface and then letting it remain visibly wet for 30 seconds. Then, relax — knowing that your surfaces will be safe from contaminants such as the Avian Influenza Virus.