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Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

Updated: Thursday, January 28, 2021 4:29 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.

Peacocks found dead in Maha''s Beed test positive for bird flu - Outlook India
28 Jan 2021 at 3:58am
Peacocks found dead in Maha''s Beed test positive for bird flu - Outlook India
28 Jan 2021 at 3:58am
Has bird flu come to Cornwall? - Somerset County Gazette
28 Jan 2021 at 2:10am
Has bird flu come to Cornwall? - Somerset County Gazette
28 Jan 2021 at 2:10am
Isle of Wight bird flu update as restrictions remain in force - Isle of Wight...
27 Jan 2021 at 10:00pm
Isle of Wight bird flu update as restrictions remain in force - Isle of Wight...
27 Jan 2021 at 10:00pm
Bird Flu: Over 7,100 birds culled in UP?s biggest-ever operation since 2013 -...
27 Jan 2021 at 9:36pm
Bird Flu: Over 7,100 birds culled in UP?s biggest-ever operation since 2013 -...
27 Jan 2021 at 9:36pm
Himachal: Five migratory birds found dead, bird flu toll nears 5k - The India...
27 Jan 2021 at 8:40pm
Himachal: Five migratory birds found dead, bird flu toll nears 5k - The India...
27 Jan 2021 at 8:40pm
More Dera Bassi farm samples test +ve for bird flu - The Tribune India
27 Jan 2021 at 6:37pm
More Dera Bassi farm samples test +ve for bird flu - The Tribune India
27 Jan 2021 at 6:37pm
Bird flu in India: 9 states confirm avian influenza outbreak in poultry birds...
27 Jan 2021 at 11:23am
Bird flu in India: 9 states confirm avian influenza outbreak in poultry birds...
27 Jan 2021 at 11:23am
Five migratory waterbirds found dead in HP, bird flu suspected - Outlook India
27 Jan 2021 at 9:23am
Five migratory waterbirds found dead in HP, bird flu suspected - Outlook India
27 Jan 2021 at 9:23am
9 states confirm outbreak of bird flu in poultry birds - Economic Times
27 Jan 2021 at 6:41am
9 states confirm outbreak of bird flu in poultry birds - Economic Times
27 Jan 2021 at 6:41am
Hong Kong stops import of poultry goods from bird flu-impacted regions in Ger...
27 Jan 2021 at 3:38am
Hong Kong stops import of poultry goods from bird flu-impacted regions in Ger...
27 Jan 2021 at 3:38am
Italy reports H5N8 bird flu oubtreak in central part of the country - OIE - S...
26 Jan 2021 at 12:03pm
Italy reports H5N8 bird flu oubtreak in central part of the country - OIE - S...
26 Jan 2021 at 12:03pm
Bird flu kills 90 more birds including 12 peacocks in Rajasthan - The New Ind...
26 Jan 2021 at 11:30am
Bird flu kills 90 more birds including 12 peacocks in Rajasthan - The New Ind...
26 Jan 2021 at 11:30am
Czech poultry markets, outside flocks banned over bird flu - Successful Farming
26 Jan 2021 at 9:07am
Czech poultry markets, outside flocks banned over bird flu - Successful Farming
26 Jan 2021 at 9:07am
Maharashtra bird flu: 289 more birds found dead, tally 18,700 - Mint
26 Jan 2021 at 5:46am
Maharashtra bird flu: 289 more birds found dead, tally 18,700 - Mint
26 Jan 2021 at 5:46am
Sweden's Kalmar County to Cull 1.3 Million Chickens Due to Bird Flu Outbreak ...
26 Jan 2021 at 3:26am
Sweden's Kalmar County to Cull 1.3 Million Chickens Due to Bird Flu Outbreak ...
26 Jan 2021 at 3:26am
S. Korea confirms 73rd case of highly pathogenic bird flu - The Korea Herald
25 Jan 2021 at 6:28pm
S. Korea confirms 73rd case of highly pathogenic bird flu - The Korea Herald
25 Jan 2021 at 6:28pm
Sweden to cull 1.3 mln chicken after bird flu hits farm: report - Xinhua | En...
25 Jan 2021 at 12:26pm
Sweden to cull 1.3 mln chicken after bird flu hits farm: report - Xinhua | En...
25 Jan 2021 at 12:26pm
Bird flu: All you need to know about the origin, human cases, and tips to pre...
25 Jan 2021 at 4:55am
Bird flu: All you need to know about the origin, human cases, and tips to pre...
25 Jan 2021 at 4:55am
Bird flu confirmed in 9 states for poultry, 12 states for crow, wild birds, c...
24 Jan 2021 at 6:44pm
Bird flu confirmed in 9 states for poultry, 12 states for crow, wild birds, c...
24 Jan 2021 at 6:44pm
Bird flu: Highly infectious H5N1 virus found in samples sent from Panchkula -...
23 Jan 2021 at 12:10pm
Bird flu: Highly infectious H5N1 virus found in samples sent from Panchkula -...
23 Jan 2021 at 12:10pm