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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Thursday, January 29, 2015 11:18 AM EDT
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Bird flu symptoms

Although there have been too few human cases to determine the exact incubation period of bird flu, it would be expected to be from three to 10 days. The symptoms of bird flu in humans are similar to those of regular influenza and include:

Complications Of Bird flu
Bird flu in humans can cause a range of serious and potentially fatal complications, including: Tell your doctor if you've been to a country where there is bird flu
If you have recently returned from a country that had an outbreak of bird flu and you get flu symptoms, see your doctor immediately. When making the appointment, tell the clinic staff about your travel including any visits to markets, farms or anywhere else where birds were present.

Influenza viruses can mutate
Influenza viruses that infect animal species can mutate and infect humans. The human immune system may have no defences against viruses that previously only infected animals. That's why infection with these viruses can result in more severe disease in people.

If the H5N1 bird flu virus were to mix with a human influenza virus, such a 'combined' virus could create a new human influenza virus that could spread rapidly.

Health experts are concerned that the current bird flu affecting Asia could become a worldwide pandemic if the virus does mutate. The worst influenza pandemic in modern history was the Spanish flu, which occurred in 1918–19 and killed up to 50 million people.

Measures to contain the spread of the current bird flu virus include identifying and culling affected poultry flocks, research into tests and vaccines, and rigorous quarantine practices.

Treatment options
Several antiviral medications used to treat human influenza are also effective for bird flu. These could be used if a person developed symptoms after possible exposure to bird flu, or to prevent illness in a person who was in close contact with bird flu. Currently testing for bird flu vaccines is an ongoing process.

At the moment, there is no need for people living in USA, or people making short visits to countries with cases of bird flu, to have antiviral medications. Americans living long-term in countries affected by bird flu should consider having a supply of antiviral medications in the home to use on medical advice should the situation change while they are away from the US.

The Federal government is stockpiling Relenza and Tamiflu, two drugs that may be used in the treatment of human cases of bird flu. In the case of an outbreak in humans, these drugs would be used to maintain essential services, prevent transmission and provide treatment for people who are already ill.

A vaccine against bird flu is in development, but is not currently available. The current influenza vaccines will not protect humans against bird flu. However, people who may be exposed to bird flu should consider being vaccinated against human influenza viruses to reduce the risk of the viruses 'mixing' to form a new flu strain.

Advice for travellers
Be aware of the risk of bird flu if you are travelling to a country where outbreaks are occurring. Suggestions include:
Israeli, Palestinian agriculture officials cooperate to curb bird flu spread ...
29 Jan 2015 at 10:18am
Israeli, Palestinian agriculture officials cooperate to curb bird flu spread ...
29 Jan 2015 at 10:18am
Bird flu quarantine lifted in Douglas County, Ore. - Capital Press
29 Jan 2015 at 9:44am
Bird flu quarantine lifted in Douglas County, Ore. - Capital Press
29 Jan 2015 at 9:44am
Vietnam wary of H7N9 bird flu outbreak in southern China - Thanh Nien Daily
29 Jan 2015 at 5:46am
Vietnam wary of H7N9 bird flu outbreak in southern China - Thanh Nien Daily
29 Jan 2015 at 5:46am
Nigeria H5N1 bird flu spreads to four more states, total 11 - Reuters
29 Jan 2015 at 4:40am
Nigeria H5N1 bird flu spreads to four more states, total 11 - Reuters
29 Jan 2015 at 4:40am
Bird Flu - Customs Destroy N13.5 Million Frozen Poultry Products - Daily Trust
29 Jan 2015 at 4:37am
Bird Flu - Customs Destroy N13.5 Million Frozen Poultry Products - Daily Trust
29 Jan 2015 at 4:37am
Expert Allays Fears On Transmission of Bird Flu in Humans - Vanguard
28 Jan 2015 at 11:22pm
Expert Allays Fears On Transmission of Bird Flu in Humans - Vanguard
28 Jan 2015 at 11:22pm
Minister Of Agriculture Says There's A Bird Flu Outbreak In 11 States! - 360N...
28 Jan 2015 at 11:04pm
Minister Of Agriculture Says There's A Bird Flu Outbreak In 11 States! - 360N...
28 Jan 2015 at 11:04pm
Bird Flu Outbreak in Nigeria: 11 States Affected - Bella Naija
28 Jan 2015 at 9:18pm
Bird Flu Outbreak in Nigeria: 11 States Affected - Bella Naija
28 Jan 2015 at 9:18pm
Millions of birds killed in Taiwan to thwart bird flu - Washington Post
28 Jan 2015 at 7:28pm
Millions of birds killed in Taiwan to thwart bird flu - Washington Post
28 Jan 2015 at 7:28pm
Bird flu outbreak confirmed in 11 Nigerian states - Business Standard
28 Jan 2015 at 5:45pm
Bird flu outbreak confirmed in 11 Nigerian states - Business Standard
28 Jan 2015 at 5:45pm
Ghana to enforce strict border controls to stave off bird flu - Starr 103.5 FM
28 Jan 2015 at 5:31pm
Ghana to enforce strict border controls to stave off bird flu - Starr 103.5 FM
28 Jan 2015 at 5:31pm
Bird flu now in 11 states ?FG - The Punch
28 Jan 2015 at 5:26pm
Bird flu now in 11 states ?FG - The Punch
28 Jan 2015 at 5:26pm
Nigeria confirms bird flu outbreak in 11 states - Xinhua
28 Jan 2015 at 5:23pm
Nigeria confirms bird flu outbreak in 11 states - Xinhua
28 Jan 2015 at 5:23pm
Another strain of bird flu found in county - Blaine Northern Light
28 Jan 2015 at 4:37pm
Another strain of bird flu found in county - Blaine Northern Light
28 Jan 2015 at 4:37pm
Bird flu: What Nigerians should do - Nigerian Tribune
28 Jan 2015 at 4:09pm
Bird flu: What Nigerians should do - Nigerian Tribune
28 Jan 2015 at 4:09pm
Bird Flu Safety Tips - Western Front (blog)
28 Jan 2015 at 3:32pm
Bird Flu Safety Tips - Western Front (blog)
28 Jan 2015 at 3:32pm
World Bank to intervene over Nigeria bird flu outbreak - StarAfrica.com
28 Jan 2015 at 3:27pm
World Bank to intervene over Nigeria bird flu outbreak - StarAfrica.com
28 Jan 2015 at 3:27pm
FG allays fear as bird flu spreads to more states - The Guardian Nigeria
28 Jan 2015 at 2:11pm
FG allays fear as bird flu spreads to more states - The Guardian Nigeria
28 Jan 2015 at 2:11pm
Ghana on guard against bird flu ? Veterinary Service - Citifmonline
28 Jan 2015 at 11:09am
Ghana on guard against bird flu ? Veterinary Service - Citifmonline
28 Jan 2015 at 11:09am
Area shows no additional signs of bird flu - Sequim Gazette
28 Jan 2015 at 6:13am
Area shows no additional signs of bird flu - Sequim Gazette
28 Jan 2015 at 6:13am