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Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 1:41 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.

The next wave of bird flu could be worse than ever - Science News
19 Oct 2017 at 11:37am
The next wave of bird flu could be worse than ever - Science News
19 Oct 2017 at 11:37am
Western Cape counts the cost of drought and bird flu - Farmer's Weekly
19 Oct 2017 at 7:41am
Western Cape counts the cost of drought and bird flu - Farmer's Weekly
19 Oct 2017 at 7:41am
Bird flu: higher egg prices and shortages loom - Kempton Express
18 Oct 2017 at 9:17pm
Bird flu: higher egg prices and shortages loom - Kempton Express
18 Oct 2017 at 9:17pm
Reps want N1.8bn compensation for bird flu victims - Daily Trust
18 Oct 2017 at 6:03pm
Reps want N1.8bn compensation for bird flu victims - Daily Trust
18 Oct 2017 at 6:03pm
Dutch bird flu outbreak leads to trade bans - Poultry World
18 Oct 2017 at 4:14am
Dutch bird flu outbreak leads to trade bans - Poultry World
18 Oct 2017 at 4:14am
[LISTEN] Eggs shortage to worsen amid bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
17 Oct 2017 at 10:41pm
[LISTEN] Eggs shortage to worsen amid bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
17 Oct 2017 at 10:41pm
No decision yet on bird flu vaccination - Zokwana - Fin24
17 Oct 2017 at 10:35pm
No decision yet on bird flu vaccination - Zokwana - Fin24
17 Oct 2017 at 10:35pm
Widespread bird flu, drought affect W Cape farmers - eNCA (blog)
17 Oct 2017 at 8:45pm
Widespread bird flu, drought affect W Cape farmers - eNCA (blog)
17 Oct 2017 at 8:45pm
South Korean egg prices back down after bird flu spike - Nikkei Asian Review
17 Oct 2017 at 6:11pm
South Korean egg prices back down after bird flu spike - Nikkei Asian Review
17 Oct 2017 at 6:11pm
China confirms bird flu outbreak at poultry farms in central province - Nasdaq
17 Oct 2017 at 3:39am
China confirms bird flu outbreak at poultry farms in central province - Nasdaq
17 Oct 2017 at 3:39am
Farmers voice concerns about compensation for bird flu - Poultry World
16 Oct 2017 at 5:31am
Farmers voice concerns about compensation for bird flu - Poultry World
16 Oct 2017 at 5:31am
Poultry sector close to full recovery from bird flu - Philippine Star
15 Oct 2017 at 9:31am
Poultry sector close to full recovery from bird flu - Philippine Star
15 Oct 2017 at 9:31am
New bird flu text alert service in NI - Irish Farmers Journal
15 Oct 2017 at 7:16am
New bird flu text alert service in NI - Irish Farmers Journal
15 Oct 2017 at 7:16am
New bird flu case in Netherlands; 42000 egg-laying hens culled - NL Times
13 Oct 2017 at 6:10am
New bird flu case in Netherlands; 42000 egg-laying hens culled - NL Times
13 Oct 2017 at 6:10am
WC govt, DAFF working to find solutions to bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
13 Oct 2017 at 12:21am
WC govt, DAFF working to find solutions to bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
13 Oct 2017 at 12:21am
Bird flu cases in WC increases to 50 - Eyewitness News
12 Oct 2017 at 9:52am
Bird flu cases in WC increases to 50 - Eyewitness News
12 Oct 2017 at 9:52am
Zambia has not recorded any cases of bird flu-Katambo - Lusaka Times
12 Oct 2017 at 9:18am
Zambia has not recorded any cases of bird flu-Katambo - Lusaka Times
12 Oct 2017 at 9:18am
Producers to boost biosecurity measures after bird flu outbreak - Fin24
12 Oct 2017 at 7:40am
Producers to boost biosecurity measures after bird flu outbreak - Fin24
12 Oct 2017 at 7:40am
Some WC retailers running out of eggs due to bird flu - Eyewitness News
11 Oct 2017 at 11:10am
Some WC retailers running out of eggs due to bird flu - Eyewitness News
11 Oct 2017 at 11:10am
'Devastating' bird flu culling to cost Gauteng farm R65m - Fin24
11 Oct 2017 at 1:46am
'Devastating' bird flu culling to cost Gauteng farm R65m - Fin24
11 Oct 2017 at 1:46am