The psychological impact of the bird flu pandemic

The psychological impact of the bird flu pandemic

Bird flu

From the US to India, Bird flu has become an animal pandemic. Jharkhand sets a high alert for the outbreak. With virus traces found in cow milk, scientists are concerned with its increasing reach from birds to animals.

What is Bird flu?

It is a viral infection that spreads, in birds and sometimes to animals. Humans are usually less contagious. The symptoms are fever, cough, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, muscle pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and pink eye. So what makes bird flu a concern? Over 50% of infected people die due to severe respiratory problems!

How does it affect my mind?

According to PubMed Central research, the emotional response of people toward the bird flu pandemic can be intense and severe, especially in specific populations that are already experiencing low resilience and negative emotions. With a focus on the physical effects of bird flu, we might overlook its effect on our mental health.

High Mortality Rate:

Many of the people affected by bird flu develop severe illnesses. More than half of the infected people lose their lives. With such a severity, we may find it difficult to deal with fear and experience feelings of anxiety and panic. Infected people and their loved ones can experience PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), especially with the loss of their loved ones.

Animal-based diet pattern:

People who follow animal-based diets like chicken and eggs can develop a fear, or even a phobia of the food that they daily consume! In some severe cases, eating disorders can develop and along with this, nausea can be experienced. It is important to understand that bird flu has the least chance of transmission from food, just ensure that your source of food is not from an area of outbreak.

Mass slaughter:

The most prominent prevention for Bird flu is the culling of birds. With thousands of birds getting killed and numerous eggs destroyed, we as humans can get affected, especially animal lovers where we are not left with any other option but to cull them. For this, we can take the initiative of early prevention to reduce such slaughters, searching for new solutions is the only way out.

Social isolation:

People who work closely with birds and animals, like in poultry farms or infected people may feel excluded from the rest of society and even their close ones. Along with isolation, they face a pushback in economic and professional aspects. Here, it’s on us to at least provide emotional and other basic support to them. Standing together is the only way to challenge a pandemic.

Fear of another pandemic:

With the experience of the Covid pandemic, there is a fear instilled in people worldwide of another pandemic. We humans across the globe are not mentally prepared to deal with the new turmoil of the pandemic when we are still recovering from the past emotional and economically. Let’s look at the bright side as well, this time we are more equipped with knowledge and experience.

Myths and Rumours:

With the outbreak, myths and rumors for an instant solution to bird flu might spread life fire. For example, in rural areas, superstitious myths may gain prominence to deal with this animal pandemic. Sacrifice of non-infected animals can take place. Awareness is the key to this problem. With such a high mortality rate and severe respiratory issues, the right intervention is a must.

Moreover, the battle with bird flu might appear as a global pandemic; like how we understood and interpreted the times of COVID-19, it is time for us to develop coping strategies and emotional regulation efficiently.


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