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Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 7:18 AM EDT
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Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

Although avian influenza A viruses usually do not infect humans, more than 100 confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza viruses have been reported since 1997. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) maintains situation updates and cumulative reports of human cases of avian influenza A (H5N1). Most cases of avian influenza infection in humans are thought to have resulted from direct contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces. However, there is still a lot to learn about how different subtypes and strains of avian influenza virus might affect humans. For example, it is not known how the distinction between low pathogenic and highly pathogenic strains might impact the health risk to humans. (For more information, see “Low Pathogenic versus Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses” on the CDC Influenza Viruses Web page.

Because of concerns about the potential for more widespread infection in the human population, public health authorities closely monitor outbreaks of human illness associated with avian influenza. To date, human infections with avian influenza A viruses detected since 1997 have not resulted in sustained human-to-human transmission. However, because influenza A viruses have the potential to change and gain the ability to spread easily between people, monitoring for human infection and person-to-person transmission is important.

Instances of Avian Influenza Infections in Humans

Confirmed instances of avian influenza viruses infecting humans since 1997 include:

Symptoms of Avian Influenza in Humans

The reported symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical influenza-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches) to eye infections (conjunctivitis), pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, viral pneumonia, and other severe and life-threatening complications.

Antiviral Agents for Influenza

Four different influenza antiviral drugs (amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir, and zanamivir) are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of influenza; three are approved for prophylaxis. All four have activity against influenza A viruses. However, sometimes influenza strains can become resistant to these drugs, and therefore the drugs may not always be effective. For example, analyses of some of the 2004 H5N1 viruses isolated from poultry and humans in Asia have shown that the viruses are resistant to two of the medications (amantadine and rimantadine). Monitoring of avian influenza A viruses for resistance to influenza antiviral medications is ongoing.

Government Issues Bird Flu Alert: As SA Confirms Outbreak - ZimEye - Zimbabwe...
25 Apr 2018 at 4:39am
Government Issues Bird Flu Alert: As SA Confirms Outbreak - ZimEye - Zimbabwe...
25 Apr 2018 at 4:39am
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25 Apr 2018 at 3:26am
Man involved in foiled attempt to smuggle 121 live birds jailed 8 months - Ch...
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Bird flu: FG spends N2.8bn as compensation to poultry farmers - Lagos (press ...
25 Apr 2018 at 12:52am
Bird flu: FG spends N2.8bn as compensation to poultry farmers - Lagos (press ...
25 Apr 2018 at 12:52am
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24 Apr 2018 at 6:30am
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24 Apr 2018 at 6:30am
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24 Apr 2018 at 5:17am
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23 Apr 2018 at 9:58pm
Grey Heron, tagged for bird flu programme, sighted after 4 years in Pune - Th...
23 Apr 2018 at 9:58pm
Three new bird flu cases identified in North West - Citizen
16 Apr 2018 at 9:15pm
Three new bird flu cases identified in North West - Citizen
16 Apr 2018 at 9:15pm
Bird flu poses new threat to endangered African penguin - The Times
16 Apr 2018 at 4:01pm
Bird flu poses new threat to endangered African penguin - The Times
16 Apr 2018 at 4:01pm
Warning: Bird flu outbreak in two SA districts - All4Women
15 Apr 2018 at 10:15pm
Warning: Bird flu outbreak in two SA districts - All4Women
15 Apr 2018 at 10:15pm
Hong Kong pet bird market temporarily closed amid detection of bird flu virus...
14 Apr 2018 at 3:51am
Hong Kong pet bird market temporarily closed amid detection of bird flu virus...
14 Apr 2018 at 3:51am
3 bird flu cases confirmed in North West - Eyewitness News
13 Apr 2018 at 10:41am
3 bird flu cases confirmed in North West - Eyewitness News
13 Apr 2018 at 10:41am
Hong Kong's bird market to close for 21 days after avian flu virus found in s...
13 Apr 2018 at 9:05am
Hong Kong's bird market to close for 21 days after avian flu virus found in s...
13 Apr 2018 at 9:05am
Bird flu scare shuts down popular songbird garden in Hong Kong for 21 days - ...
13 Apr 2018 at 3:17am
Bird flu scare shuts down popular songbird garden in Hong Kong for 21 days - ...
13 Apr 2018 at 3:17am
Boulders Beach penguins fall victim to bird flu outbreak - News24
9 Apr 2018 at 10:18am
Boulders Beach penguins fall victim to bird flu outbreak - News24
9 Apr 2018 at 10:18am
Cameroon concerned about bird flu outbreak in Nigeria - Journalducameroun.com...
9 Apr 2018 at 2:46am
Cameroon concerned about bird flu outbreak in Nigeria - Journalducameroun.com...
9 Apr 2018 at 2:46am
Zim gets boost in war against bird flu, fall armyworm - The Herald
6 Apr 2018 at 3:13pm
Zim gets boost in war against bird flu, fall armyworm - The Herald
6 Apr 2018 at 3:13pm
Bird Flu: 16 more penguins die at Boulders Beach - Cape Business News
5 Apr 2018 at 5:54am
Bird Flu: 16 more penguins die at Boulders Beach - Cape Business News
5 Apr 2018 at 5:54am
Bulgaria reports H5N8 bird flu outbreak in duck farm - Reuters
5 Apr 2018 at 3:12am
Bulgaria reports H5N8 bird flu outbreak in duck farm - Reuters
5 Apr 2018 at 3:12am
Pirbright Institute wins half a million pounds to look into bird flu research...
4 Apr 2018 at 10:39pm
Pirbright Institute wins half a million pounds to look into bird flu research...
4 Apr 2018 at 10:39pm
New bird flu virus H6N2 comes to roost - Times of India
1 Apr 2018 at 10:52pm
New bird flu virus H6N2 comes to roost - Times of India
1 Apr 2018 at 10:52pm