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Beating Bird Flu


Beating Bird Flu
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 1 to 3
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.45

     challenging words:    adult, affects, arrival, avian, banks, breadcrumbs, coughs, ducks, formation, paddies, pandemic, virus, watch, waterfowl, able, across
     content words:    In Asian, United States

Beating Bird Flu
By Colleen Messina

1     Birds are fun to watch. Geese fly in a V formation across the sky. Ducks waddle along lake banks nibbling on breadcrumbs. Not everyone welcomes the arrival of migrating birds. Migrating birds can carry a virus called bird flu. Bird flu is also called avian flu.
2     Bird flu virus, or H5N1 as scientists call it, is an infection that kills millions of birds. Some people have also caught bird flu. If this virus mutates, or changes, it might be able to spread from person to person. This could cause many people to get sick. An illness that affects many people over a large area is called a pandemic.
3     A bird flu pandemic could start in Asia. Wild ducks and water birds carry the bird flu virus. In Asian countries, chickens often get close to waterfowl. They eat the same food on the wet rice paddies. The chickens live close to people. If the chickens get sick, people can get sick, too. As of February 2008, the H5N1 virus has been in Asia, Europe, and Africa. It has not come to the United States.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Extended Activities:

1.  It is better not to be in contact with a sick person if you want to stay well. Make a list of three things that you could do for a friend who is sick without actually visiting the person.

2.  Design a soap dispenser that will make children want to wash their hands. Draw a colorful picture of your design.

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