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Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

Updated: Thursday, December 14, 2017 1:13 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.

South Korea Confirms Presence of H5N6 Bird Flu - IR INSIDER (blog)
13 Dec 2017 at 6:18pm
South Korea Confirms Presence of H5N6 Bird Flu - IR INSIDER (blog)
13 Dec 2017 at 6:18pm
UK bird flu threat remains low following Netherlands outbreak ... - FarmingUK
12 Dec 2017 at 7:43am
UK bird flu threat remains low following Netherlands outbreak ... - FarmingUK
12 Dec 2017 at 7:43am
Poultry growers should be on guard for bird flu - Herald-Mail Media
12 Dec 2017 at 5:06am
Poultry growers should be on guard for bird flu - Herald-Mail Media
12 Dec 2017 at 5:06am
How to spot bird flu, what to do if you suspect it and how to prevent it - FG...
12 Dec 2017 at 2:48am
How to spot bird flu, what to do if you suspect it and how to prevent it - FG...
12 Dec 2017 at 2:48am
S. Korea confirms highly pathogenic bird flu at duck farm - The Korea Herald
11 Dec 2017 at 7:19pm
S. Korea confirms highly pathogenic bird flu at duck farm - The Korea Herald
11 Dec 2017 at 7:19pm
S. Korea confirms new H5N6-strain bird flu at duck farm - The Mainichi
11 Dec 2017 at 5:43pm
S. Korea confirms new H5N6-strain bird flu at duck farm - The Mainichi
11 Dec 2017 at 5:43pm
Netherlands confirms highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak: OIE - Reuters
11 Dec 2017 at 11:04am
Netherlands confirms highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak: OIE - Reuters
11 Dec 2017 at 11:04am
Netherlands confirms highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak - OIE - Channel News...
11 Dec 2017 at 10:35am
Netherlands confirms highly pathogenic bird flu outbreak - OIE - Channel News...
11 Dec 2017 at 10:35am
S. Korea culls 76000 ducks after confirming bird flu outbreak - The Malaysian...
11 Dec 2017 at 2:38am
S. Korea culls 76000 ducks after confirming bird flu outbreak - The Malaysian...
11 Dec 2017 at 2:38am
Fight to contain bird flu outbreak - Khmer Times - Khmer Times
10 Dec 2017 at 5:51pm
Fight to contain bird flu outbreak - Khmer Times - Khmer Times
10 Dec 2017 at 5:51pm
Housed free-range period extended as bird flu warnings continue ... - Agriland
10 Dec 2017 at 4:02am
Housed free-range period extended as bird flu warnings continue ... - Agriland
10 Dec 2017 at 4:02am
Bird flu outbreak in Kampong Cham - Khmer Times
9 Dec 2017 at 4:26am
Bird flu outbreak in Kampong Cham - Khmer Times
9 Dec 2017 at 4:26am
Bird flu returns in Cambodia - Bangkok Post
9 Dec 2017 at 3:48am
Bird flu returns in Cambodia - Bangkok Post
9 Dec 2017 at 3:48am
Bird flu drives up egg prices | Daily News - IOL - Independent Online
8 Dec 2017 at 1:03pm
Bird flu drives up egg prices | Daily News - IOL - Independent Online
8 Dec 2017 at 1:03pm
Bird flu: Dutch farmers ordered to keep poultry indoors | The Seattle ... - S...
8 Dec 2017 at 6:54am
Bird flu: Dutch farmers ordered to keep poultry indoors | The Seattle ... - S...
8 Dec 2017 at 6:54am
Egg prices to jump up to 20% over bird flu | Fin24 - Fin24
8 Dec 2017 at 4:04am
Egg prices to jump up to 20% over bird flu | Fin24 - Fin24
8 Dec 2017 at 4:04am
No new bird flu cases in the Cape - EWN - Eyewitness News
7 Dec 2017 at 10:54pm
No new bird flu cases in the Cape - EWN - Eyewitness News
7 Dec 2017 at 10:54pm
Bird flu controlled, but vigilance needed - Business Day
7 Dec 2017 at 9:12pm
Bird flu controlled, but vigilance needed - Business Day
7 Dec 2017 at 9:12pm
AU tackles bird flu - The Punch
5 Dec 2017 at 4:04pm
AU tackles bird flu - The Punch
5 Dec 2017 at 4:04pm
P7.7M from China to boost Pampanga's anti-bird flu program | SunStar - Sun.Star
5 Dec 2017 at 5:25am
P7.7M from China to boost Pampanga's anti-bird flu program | SunStar - Sun.Star
5 Dec 2017 at 5:25am