Bird Flu (Everything You Need to Know) by John Farndon

By John Farndon

A poultry flu pandemic is inevitable—so we're advised. First pointed out in China, this it sounds as if cruel virus, which originated in chickens, has the capability to mutate and kill hundreds of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of individuals. John Farndon bargains a compact, one-stop learn that tells it directly. the general public doesn’t are looking to spend months doing learn, and chicken Flu offers readers with the entire worthwhile info. this can be anything that can’t be disregarded and ignored––people relatively do want to know if there's something to worry, and if this is the case, what can they do approximately it?

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Example text

Meanwhile, the virus multiplies so rapidly in your throat that the killer cells can’t keep pace, and gradually it begins to spread down into your lungs. Fortunately, the macrophages that have eaten the invaded cells are drifting off through the blood by now, and eventually pass through a lymph node or gland. Once in the lymph node, the viral material that the macrophage is carrying is recognised by lymphocytes that are stored in the gland – and these immediately go into action. T-cells multiply rapidly, swelling the glands until they become very tender.

Here and there along the way are the lymphatics’ sewage treatment plants, called nodes. Lymph nodes are basically filters that trap germs and other foreign material that has got into the lymph fluid. To deal with the germs, the nodes have armies of lymphocytes, the white blood cells that can neutralise or destroy them. When you have an infection, Bird flu doc 9/11/05 3:24 pm Page 43 HOW THE BODY FIGHTS DISEASE • 43 the lymph nodes may swell as the lymphocytes multiply to do battle with the invaders.

When it does this, people may have so little resistance that a pandemic is a real possibility. The mutable virus Although it remains fundamentally the same kind of virus, the flu virus is an RNA virus, which means that it’s very unstable and changing all the time. When DNA is copied, it’s copied pretty near perfectly. RNA, however, is much less reliable and is copied with a host of misprints. When flu viruses multiply, each individual particle has its own set of misprints. This can create a real problem for immune systems trying to guard against it.

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