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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Sunday, December 21, 2014 9:52 PM 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:
Bird flu alert in UP: import of poultry products banned - Business Standard
21 Dec 2014 at 9:05pm
Bird flu alert in UP: import of poultry products banned - Business Standard
21 Dec 2014 at 9:05pm
Swine flu kills 8 in Andhra, Telangana; bird flu alert in Chandigarh - IBNLive
21 Dec 2014 at 7:46pm
Swine flu kills 8 in Andhra, Telangana; bird flu alert in Chandigarh - IBNLive
21 Dec 2014 at 7:46pm
Restrictions lifted on moving poultry in UK after bird flu cull - The Guardian
21 Dec 2014 at 12:35pm
Restrictions lifted on moving poultry in UK after bird flu cull - The Guardian
21 Dec 2014 at 12:35pm
Bird flu restrictions lifted but stay vigilant warns chief vet - ITV News
21 Dec 2014 at 11:09am
Bird flu restrictions lifted but stay vigilant warns chief vet - ITV News
21 Dec 2014 at 11:09am
Bird flu restrictions lifted by Defra - Mid Devon Gazette
21 Dec 2014 at 6:35am
Bird flu restrictions lifted by Defra - Mid Devon Gazette
21 Dec 2014 at 6:35am
Bird flu restrictions lifted in East Yorkshire - Hull Daily Mail
21 Dec 2014 at 3:46am
Bird flu restrictions lifted in East Yorkshire - Hull Daily Mail
21 Dec 2014 at 3:46am
South Korea Suspends Importation of US Poultry Due to Bird Flu Outbreak - Spu...
21 Dec 2014 at 2:53am
South Korea Suspends Importation of US Poultry Due to Bird Flu Outbreak - Spu...
21 Dec 2014 at 2:53am
Bird flu found in Oregon poultry flock - Columbia Daily Tribune
21 Dec 2014 at 2:15am
Bird flu found in Oregon poultry flock - Columbia Daily Tribune
21 Dec 2014 at 2:15am
Bird flu restrictions lifted after outbreak - ITV News
21 Dec 2014 at 1:03am
Bird flu restrictions lifted after outbreak - ITV News
21 Dec 2014 at 1:03am
South Korea halts US poultry imports due to bird flu in US - Reuters
20 Dec 2014 at 7:56pm
South Korea halts US poultry imports due to bird flu in US - Reuters
20 Dec 2014 at 7:56pm
No sign of bird flu in Pong Dam, Renuka, says Wildlife Dept - Chandigarh Tribune
20 Dec 2014 at 11:51am
No sign of bird flu in Pong Dam, Renuka, says Wildlife Dept - Chandigarh Tribune
20 Dec 2014 at 11:51am
Vigil at Asan wetland after bird flu cases at Chandigarh - Chandigarh Tribune
20 Dec 2014 at 11:36am
Vigil at Asan wetland after bird flu cases at Chandigarh - Chandigarh Tribune
20 Dec 2014 at 11:36am
Bird flu scare: Public entry banned at Harike sanctuary - Hindustan Times
20 Dec 2014 at 12:03am
Bird flu scare: Public entry banned at Harike sanctuary - Hindustan Times
20 Dec 2014 at 12:03am
B.C. bird flu outbreak is of Asian origin - Macleans.ca
19 Dec 2014 at 4:28pm
B.C. bird flu outbreak is of Asian origin - Macleans.ca
19 Dec 2014 at 4:28pm
What small flock owners should know about bird flu - KING5.com
19 Dec 2014 at 10:20am
What small flock owners should know about bird flu - KING5.com
19 Dec 2014 at 10:20am
Bird flu: Migratory birds under watch near Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake - Daily N...
19 Dec 2014 at 10:10am
Bird flu: Migratory birds under watch near Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake - Daily N...
19 Dec 2014 at 10:10am
Bird flu: Migratory birds near Sukhna Lake under watch - Zee News
19 Dec 2014 at 6:40am
Bird flu: Migratory birds near Sukhna Lake under watch - Zee News
19 Dec 2014 at 6:40am
Egypt: Ninth Egyptian Dies of Bird Flu - Official - AllAfrica.com
19 Dec 2014 at 1:29am
Egypt: Ninth Egyptian Dies of Bird Flu - Official - AllAfrica.com
19 Dec 2014 at 1:29am
Bird flu alert sounded - The Hindu
18 Dec 2014 at 1:35pm
Bird flu alert sounded - The Hindu
18 Dec 2014 at 1:35pm
Bird Flu in Chandigarh, Sukhna Lake Closed to Public - NDTV
18 Dec 2014 at 12:45pm
Bird Flu in Chandigarh, Sukhna Lake Closed to Public - NDTV
18 Dec 2014 at 12:45pm