If you’re worried about the new strain of bird flu that’s infecting people in China, here’s what the health experts tracking the disease have to say:
First: This strain of the flu is officially called the H-7-N-9 virus. But according to the World Health Organization, there’s zero scientific evidence that the virus spreads by human contact. That means, it’s considered an animal disease that can occasionally infect people. So, unless you’ve recently spent time in China handling live birds, the experts say you don’t have anything to worry about right now.
But we’re not completely in the clear. Dr. Richard Besser, a former director of the CDC, says there’s a chance the newest bird flu could mutate into a strain that can spread between humans. Which means, it’s a good idea to take the basic precautions that protect us from disease-causing infections. That includes washing your hands frequently. You should also cough or sneeze into your elbow. And remember, your fingers pick up germs off of everything you touch. So, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with germy fingers – because those are the three easiest places for illness-causing germs to get into your body.