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Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 11:24 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.

Mild form of bird flu found in Minnesota turkey flock - DesMoinesRegister.com
23 Oct 2018 at 10:17am
Mild form of bird flu found in Minnesota turkey flock - DesMoinesRegister.com
23 Oct 2018 at 10:17am
Mild form of bird flu found in Minnesota turkey flock - KWWL - kwwl.com
23 Oct 2018 at 8:57am
Mild form of bird flu found in Minnesota turkey flock - KWWL - kwwl.com
23 Oct 2018 at 8:57am
Bulgaria's Food Safety Agency: No Danger to Consumers Amid Bird Flu Outbreaks...
23 Oct 2018 at 1:10am
Bulgaria's Food Safety Agency: No Danger to Consumers Amid Bird Flu Outbreaks...
23 Oct 2018 at 1:10am
Korea strengthens bird flu quarantine efforts ahead of winter - The Korea Herald
22 Oct 2018 at 7:06pm
Korea strengthens bird flu quarantine efforts ahead of winter - The Korea Herald
22 Oct 2018 at 7:06pm
S. Korea strengthens bird flu quarantine efforts ahead of winter - Yonhap News
22 Oct 2018 at 7:02pm
S. Korea strengthens bird flu quarantine efforts ahead of winter - Yonhap News
22 Oct 2018 at 7:02pm
Bulgaria reports bird flu outbreak on two farms in south of the country - Ukr...
20 Oct 2018 at 8:45am
Bulgaria reports bird flu outbreak on two farms in south of the country - Ukr...
20 Oct 2018 at 8:45am
Bird flu outbreak reported in Bulgaria - Xinhua
19 Oct 2018 at 7:04am
Bird flu outbreak reported in Bulgaria - Xinhua
19 Oct 2018 at 7:04am
Bulgaria reports bird flu outbreak on two farms - Independent.ie
18 Oct 2018 at 10:09pm
Bulgaria reports bird flu outbreak on two farms - Independent.ie
18 Oct 2018 at 10:09pm
French foie gras makers say they are ready if bird flu returns - Reuters
18 Oct 2018 at 9:33am
French foie gras makers say they are ready if bird flu returns - Reuters
18 Oct 2018 at 9:33am
Bulgaria reports bird flu outbreak on two farms in south - Reuters
18 Oct 2018 at 8:32am
Bulgaria reports bird flu outbreak on two farms in south - Reuters
18 Oct 2018 at 8:32am
VN reports no new cases of bird flu in humans since 2014 - Viet Nam News
17 Oct 2018 at 1:00am
VN reports no new cases of bird flu in humans since 2014 - Viet Nam News
17 Oct 2018 at 1:00am
Over 760 billion VND for bird flu control during 2019-2025 - http://en.vietna...
16 Oct 2018 at 5:52am
Over 760 billion VND for bird flu control during 2019-2025 - http://en.vietna...
16 Oct 2018 at 5:52am
Egypt to bar live poultry trade over bird flu fears - Egypt Independent
11 Oct 2018 at 7:29am
Egypt to bar live poultry trade over bird flu fears - Egypt Independent
11 Oct 2018 at 7:29am
China reports new H5N6 bird flu outbreak in Hunan province - Channel NewsAsia
9 Oct 2018 at 3:46am
China reports new H5N6 bird flu outbreak in Hunan province - Channel NewsAsia
9 Oct 2018 at 3:46am
Bird flu detected at poultry farm in southern Bulgaria - Reuters
5 Oct 2018 at 1:49am
Bird flu detected at poultry farm in southern Bulgaria - Reuters
5 Oct 2018 at 1:49am
China reports H5N6 bird flu case on poultry farm in Guizhou province - Reuters
29 Sep 2018 at 3:16am
China reports H5N6 bird flu case on poultry farm in Guizhou province - Reuters
29 Sep 2018 at 3:16am
After chicken, bird flu virus emerges in ducks in China - Medibulletin
28 Sep 2018 at 6:41am
After chicken, bird flu virus emerges in ducks in China - Medibulletin
28 Sep 2018 at 6:41am
Bird flu switches from chickens to ducks - Cosmos
27 Sep 2018 at 8:00am
Bird flu switches from chickens to ducks - Cosmos
27 Sep 2018 at 8:00am
Thailand considers jail for feeding pigeons to eliminate bird flu risk - Time...
26 Sep 2018 at 6:19am
Thailand considers jail for feeding pigeons to eliminate bird flu risk - Time...
26 Sep 2018 at 6:19am
Bird Flu Threatens Innscor Profits - pindula.co.zw
24 Sep 2018 at 1:41pm
Bird Flu Threatens Innscor Profits - pindula.co.zw
24 Sep 2018 at 1:41pm