Ferrets used for avian influenza are in need of a tissue. Finally, scientists have found a way to test on animals by using ferret sneezes. Yes, they are making them sneeze. It is a very simple process for the ferrets, they put them to sleep and they run salt water up their noses. The result is a great big sneeze into a dish under their nose. This is important. The ferret snot is being used to study the avian influenza virus or ‘Bird Flu’. It seems that these little creatures can catch a few of the viruses that humans can. Mice do not have this ability and it makes the ferret sneeze very special.
Freeze Dried Sneeze
These secretions that are captured from a ferret are very secure. The Center For Disease Control takes this little mess seriously. There are precautions and security everywhere. You must wear full protective gear when being around it. This calls for double gloves, scrub gowns, eyewear, and even full air flow masks! You have to go through a fingerprint scan and iris scan just to gain access.
I wonder if the ferrets used for Avian Influenza have any idea how special they really are. Avian Influenza is serious and deadly to birds and humans and possibly mice and ferrets. That is why they are being studied. Scientists are trying to find a link between ferrets and mice carrying and transmitting the flu.
Since ferrets used for Avian influenza first started, a few findings have come to light. The ferrets are known for their ability to catch the same flu viruses that humans do. They are a perfect model. Ferrets used for Avian Influenza seem to not give the influenza to others very easy. As of right now, humans are safe from catching it from ferrets but, if a strain appears that can affect them, we are in serious trouble and need to watch out.
Ferrets used for Avian Influenza research are our little helpers. They have what it takes in their sneezes to show scientists what amazing creatures they really are and how much like humans they are. All the major precautions are taken when handling the snot from the sneezes.
It can be deadly to the humans but, ferrets have a hard time giving it to others. Ferret mucous is taken in a painless not lethal way from the ferrets. They are put to sleep and made to sneeze with salt water up the nose. What an interesting life they must have. To know that every sneeze is locked away in a freezer and sits in a level 3 security zone is exciting. The excitement builds!