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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 3:50 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:
45k birds checked for avian influenza in US - ResearchGate (blog)
20 Jun 2016 at 7:03am
45k birds checked for avian influenza in US - ResearchGate (blog)
20 Jun 2016 at 7:03am
Hong Kong chickens could be given extra shot against H7 bird flu virus - Sout...
19 Jun 2016 at 4:03pm
Hong Kong chickens could be given extra shot against H7 bird flu virus - Sout...
19 Jun 2016 at 4:03pm
China's big cities step up battle to curb bird flu - AsiaOne
15 Jun 2016 at 6:39pm
China's big cities step up battle to curb bird flu - AsiaOne
15 Jun 2016 at 6:39pm
Beijing has new H7N9 bird flu case - Shanghai Daily (subscription)
15 Jun 2016 at 8:51am
Beijing has new H7N9 bird flu case - Shanghai Daily (subscription)
15 Jun 2016 at 8:51am
Selective ban on live poultry imports puts Hong Kong at risk of deadly bird f...
11 Jun 2016 at 6:35am
Selective ban on live poultry imports puts Hong Kong at risk of deadly bird f...
11 Jun 2016 at 6:35am
Bird flu aftershocks still rattling Iowa poultry producers - Radio Iowa
9 Jun 2016 at 7:40am
Bird flu aftershocks still rattling Iowa poultry producers - Radio Iowa
9 Jun 2016 at 7:40am
No bird flu in Minnesota this year - KWLM (Willmar Radio)
9 Jun 2016 at 5:49am
No bird flu in Minnesota this year - KWLM (Willmar Radio)
9 Jun 2016 at 5:49am
Nigeria Bird Flu Outbreaks Continue to Kill Thousands of Layers - ThePoultryS...
8 Jun 2016 at 11:06pm
Nigeria Bird Flu Outbreaks Continue to Kill Thousands of Layers - ThePoultryS...
8 Jun 2016 at 11:06pm
For S'poreans in Shanghai, life goes on despite bird flu deaths - AsiaOne
8 Jun 2016 at 8:41pm
For S'poreans in Shanghai, life goes on despite bird flu deaths - AsiaOne
8 Jun 2016 at 8:41pm
After bird flu: Farms producing - Fairmont Sentinel
8 Jun 2016 at 11:00am
After bird flu: Farms producing - Fairmont Sentinel
8 Jun 2016 at 11:00am
Federal egg inspections resume after break for bird flu - TriValley Central
8 Jun 2016 at 1:11am
Federal egg inspections resume after break for bird flu - TriValley Central
8 Jun 2016 at 1:11am
Frustrated by politics?and under investigation?Italian bird flu scientist hea...
7 Jun 2016 at 2:09pm
Frustrated by politics?and under investigation?Italian bird flu scientist hea...
7 Jun 2016 at 2:09pm
Thousands of birds culled in Hong Kong amid bird flu worries - Reuters
7 Jun 2016 at 6:12am
Thousands of birds culled in Hong Kong amid bird flu worries - Reuters
7 Jun 2016 at 6:12am
Hong Kong culls 4500 birds over bird flu scare - The Straits Times
6 Jun 2016 at 11:16pm
Hong Kong culls 4500 birds over bird flu scare - The Straits Times
6 Jun 2016 at 11:16pm
Federal egg inspections resume after bird flu threat passes - Oneida Dispatch
6 Jun 2016 at 2:27pm
Federal egg inspections resume after bird flu threat passes - Oneida Dispatch
6 Jun 2016 at 2:27pm
Minnesota Farms Mostly at Full Production After Bird Flu - ABC News
6 Jun 2016 at 9:21am
Minnesota Farms Mostly at Full Production After Bird Flu - ABC News
6 Jun 2016 at 9:21am
Halted in bird flu outbreak, federal egg inspections resume - KRQE News 13
5 Jun 2016 at 1:44pm
Halted in bird flu outbreak, federal egg inspections resume - KRQE News 13
5 Jun 2016 at 1:44pm
New bird flu case reported in southern Taiwan - Focus Taiwan News Channel
4 Jun 2016 at 12:38am
New bird flu case reported in southern Taiwan - Focus Taiwan News Channel
4 Jun 2016 at 12:38am
Niger confirms bird flu outbreak in poultry - Reuters
3 Jun 2016 at 5:32am
Niger confirms bird flu outbreak in poultry - Reuters
3 Jun 2016 at 5:32am
Greater jakarta: 116 chickens die in E. Jakarta, two from bird flu - Jakarta ...
3 Jun 2016 at 1:57am
Greater jakarta: 116 chickens die in E. Jakarta, two from bird flu - Jakarta ...
3 Jun 2016 at 1:57am