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Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

Updated: Saturday, January 18, 2020 7:38 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.

Czechs detect bird flu as new Europe outbreak feared - Rappler
18 Jan 2020 at 6:36am
Czechs detect bird flu as new Europe outbreak feared - Rappler
18 Jan 2020 at 6:36am
Czech Republic reports first H5N8 bird flu case in three years - Reuters
18 Jan 2020 at 3:09am
Czech Republic reports first H5N8 bird flu case in three years - Reuters
18 Jan 2020 at 3:09am
CZECH REPUBLIC REPORTS FIRST CASE OF H5N8 BIRD FLU IN 3 YEARS ON SMALL POULTR...
18 Jan 2020 at 2:49am
CZECH REPUBLIC REPORTS FIRST CASE OF H5N8 BIRD FLU IN 3 YEARS ON SMALL POULTR...
18 Jan 2020 at 2:49am
Bird flu found among domestic birds in Poland - bnn-news.com
17 Jan 2020 at 5:53am
Bird flu found among domestic birds in Poland - bnn-news.com
17 Jan 2020 at 5:53am
UAE bans import of eggs, meat owing to bird flu, H5N2 outbreak - Daijiworld.com
16 Jan 2020 at 11:16pm
UAE bans import of eggs, meat owing to bird flu, H5N2 outbreak - Daijiworld.com
16 Jan 2020 at 11:16pm
China detects another case of H5N6 bird flu in Xinjiang region - Republic Wor...
16 Jan 2020 at 10:50am
China detects another case of H5N6 bird flu in Xinjiang region - Republic Wor...
16 Jan 2020 at 10:50am
China detects new case of H5N6 bird flu in Xinjiang region: ministry - Reuters
16 Jan 2020 at 3:46am
China detects new case of H5N6 bird flu in Xinjiang region: ministry - Reuters
16 Jan 2020 at 3:46am
Non-notifiable bird flu confirmed at NI poultry farm - FarmersWeekly
16 Jan 2020 at 2:38am
Non-notifiable bird flu confirmed at NI poultry farm - FarmersWeekly
16 Jan 2020 at 2:38am
H5N8 bird flu found in eastern Hungary - Famagusta Gazette
15 Jan 2020 at 9:47pm
H5N8 bird flu found in eastern Hungary - Famagusta Gazette
15 Jan 2020 at 9:47pm
Bird flu outbreak cause unknown: minister - Warsaw Business Journal
15 Jan 2020 at 8:45am
Bird flu outbreak cause unknown: minister - Warsaw Business Journal
15 Jan 2020 at 8:45am
Non-notifiable bird flu identified in Fermanagh - Irish Farmers Journal
15 Jan 2020 at 8:40am
Non-notifiable bird flu identified in Fermanagh - Irish Farmers Journal
15 Jan 2020 at 8:40am
Bird flu strain: UAE bans live birds, poultry and meat from Hungary and Slova...
15 Jan 2020 at 5:53am
Bird flu strain: UAE bans live birds, poultry and meat from Hungary and Slova...
15 Jan 2020 at 5:53am
Hundreds of Thousands of Poultry to be Killed as Bird Flu Hits Hungary - Hung...
15 Jan 2020 at 5:38am
Hundreds of Thousands of Poultry to be Killed as Bird Flu Hits Hungary - Hung...
15 Jan 2020 at 5:38am
Romania reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu on a farm: OIE - Reuters
15 Jan 2020 at 2:38am
Romania reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu on a farm: OIE - Reuters
15 Jan 2020 at 2:38am
Bird flu has been eliminated in Athelington zone 14 January 2020 - Zenopa
14 Jan 2020 at 10:37am
Bird flu has been eliminated in Athelington zone 14 January 2020 - Zenopa
14 Jan 2020 at 10:37am
Eat chicken: Newcastle virus, bird flu 'don't harm humans' - Dominican Today
14 Jan 2020 at 5:47am
Eat chicken: Newcastle virus, bird flu 'don't harm humans' - Dominican Today
14 Jan 2020 at 5:47am
New bird flu outbreak reported in Poland - Xinhua | English.news.cn - Xinhua
13 Jan 2020 at 3:00pm
New bird flu outbreak reported in Poland - Xinhua | English.news.cn - Xinhua
13 Jan 2020 at 3:00pm
Poland hit by another bird flu outbreak on goose farm - Reuters
13 Jan 2020 at 9:00am
Poland hit by another bird flu outbreak on goose farm - Reuters
13 Jan 2020 at 9:00am
Health News Roundup: H5N8 strain of bird flu in Hungary; China pneumonia outb...
13 Jan 2020 at 6:02am
Health News Roundup: H5N8 strain of bird flu in Hungary; China pneumonia outb...
13 Jan 2020 at 6:02am
Agro lists measures to confront bird flu - Dominican Today
13 Jan 2020 at 4:19am
Agro lists measures to confront bird flu - Dominican Today
13 Jan 2020 at 4:19am