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Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

Updated: Saturday, February 24, 2018 12:50 PM 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.

Kit to detect bird flu in a few hours waiting in the wings - The Hindu
24 Feb 2018 at 11:08am
Kit to detect bird flu in a few hours waiting in the wings - The Hindu
24 Feb 2018 at 11:08am
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21 Feb 2018 at 9:23am
Bird flu: Defra issues advice to bird and poultry owners to prevent the sprea...
21 Feb 2018 at 9:23am
Saudi Bans Afghan Poultry Imports Over Bird Flu Outbreak - TOLOnews
19 Feb 2018 at 12:30am
Saudi Bans Afghan Poultry Imports Over Bird Flu Outbreak - TOLOnews
19 Feb 2018 at 12:30am
Yemen's health crisis: Suspected cases of bird flu - Aljazeera.com
18 Feb 2018 at 2:04am
Yemen's health crisis: Suspected cases of bird flu - Aljazeera.com
18 Feb 2018 at 2:04am
First Human 'Bird Flu' Case Confirmed in China - PrecisionVaccinations (press...
17 Feb 2018 at 3:57pm
First Human 'Bird Flu' Case Confirmed in China - PrecisionVaccinations (press...
17 Feb 2018 at 3:57pm
Bird flu prevention zone extended to cover whole of England - Lexology
16 Feb 2018 at 9:52am
Bird flu prevention zone extended to cover whole of England - Lexology
16 Feb 2018 at 9:52am
First Human Case of H7N4 Bird Flu Confirmed in China: What You Need to Know -...
16 Feb 2018 at 8:31am
First Human Case of H7N4 Bird Flu Confirmed in China: What You Need to Know -...
16 Feb 2018 at 8:31am
First Human Case From New Bird Flu: How Many More Strains Are Out There? - NPR
15 Feb 2018 at 1:55pm
First Human Case From New Bird Flu: How Many More Strains Are Out There? - NPR
15 Feb 2018 at 1:55pm
Bird flu detected in Prey Veng - The Phnom Penh Post
15 Feb 2018 at 6:36am
Bird flu detected in Prey Veng - The Phnom Penh Post
15 Feb 2018 at 6:36am
Ghana reports severe bird flu on farm: OIE - Reuters
14 Feb 2018 at 9:32am
Ghana reports severe bird flu on farm: OIE - Reuters
14 Feb 2018 at 9:32am
Bird flu leads to industry losses of R954m - eNCA
14 Feb 2018 at 7:57am
Bird flu leads to industry losses of R954m - eNCA
14 Feb 2018 at 7:57am
Hong Kong on alert after China confirms world's first human case of H7N4 bird...
14 Feb 2018 at 7:55am
Hong Kong on alert after China confirms world's first human case of H7N4 bird...
14 Feb 2018 at 7:55am
Bird flu wipes out R954m, SA turns to imports - Business Day
13 Feb 2018 at 8:55pm
Bird flu wipes out R954m, SA turns to imports - Business Day
13 Feb 2018 at 8:55pm
IFA urges farmers to keep poultry under cover after bird flu found in wild bi...
10 Feb 2018 at 1:29am
IFA urges farmers to keep poultry under cover after bird flu found in wild bi...
10 Feb 2018 at 1:29am
First case of bird flu strain confirmed in Co Tipperary - Irish Times
9 Feb 2018 at 10:39am
First case of bird flu strain confirmed in Co Tipperary - Irish Times
9 Feb 2018 at 10:39am
Deadly bird flu virus confirmed as killing Queen's Windsor swans ? with up to...
8 Feb 2018 at 5:13pm
Deadly bird flu virus confirmed as killing Queen's Windsor swans ? with up to...
8 Feb 2018 at 5:13pm
Saudi Arabia temporarily bans poultry imports from India over bird flu - Reuters
8 Feb 2018 at 3:01am
Saudi Arabia temporarily bans poultry imports from India over bird flu - Reuters
8 Feb 2018 at 3:01am
Israel finds case of severe H5N8 bird flu, sounds all-clear - Reuters
7 Feb 2018 at 11:07am
Israel finds case of severe H5N8 bird flu, sounds all-clear - Reuters
7 Feb 2018 at 11:07am
Windsor Swans: Bird flu confirmed in Queen's flock - BBC News
7 Feb 2018 at 5:51am
Windsor Swans: Bird flu confirmed in Queen's flock - BBC News
7 Feb 2018 at 5:51am
Bird flu detected in eagle found dead in Tipperary - Independent.ie
6 Feb 2018 at 1:28pm
Bird flu detected in eagle found dead in Tipperary - Independent.ie
6 Feb 2018 at 1:28pm