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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Sunday, July 05, 2015 12:23 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:
No money to fight Bird Flu - GhanaWeb
5 Jul 2015 at 7:47am
No money to fight Bird Flu - GhanaWeb
5 Jul 2015 at 7:47am
Fears Budget Cuts Related To Bird Flu - KIWARadio.com
5 Jul 2015 at 6:35am
Fears Budget Cuts Related To Bird Flu - KIWARadio.com
5 Jul 2015 at 6:35am
West Virginia poultry farmers guarding against bird flu - Charleston Gazette
4 Jul 2015 at 9:14pm
West Virginia poultry farmers guarding against bird flu - Charleston Gazette
4 Jul 2015 at 9:14pm
Federal government to step up bird flu monitoring this fall - WTHITV.com
4 Jul 2015 at 11:22am
Federal government to step up bird flu monitoring this fall - WTHITV.com
4 Jul 2015 at 11:22am
Avian flu threatening Arkansas businesses - THV 11
2 Jul 2015 at 7:59pm
Avian flu threatening Arkansas businesses - THV 11
2 Jul 2015 at 7:59pm
Bird flu affects grocery stores, restaurant chain - News-Press Now
2 Jul 2015 at 7:04pm
Bird flu affects grocery stores, restaurant chain - News-Press Now
2 Jul 2015 at 7:04pm
Tennessee preparing for possible spread of bird flu - WSMV Nashville
2 Jul 2015 at 4:13pm
Tennessee preparing for possible spread of bird flu - WSMV Nashville
2 Jul 2015 at 4:13pm
Bird flu cases detected in Istanbul's Kartal, Arnavutköy: Report - Hurriyet D...
2 Jul 2015 at 4:14am
Bird flu cases detected in Istanbul's Kartal, Arnavutköy: Report - Hurriyet D...
2 Jul 2015 at 4:14am
Iowa Governor Extends Bird Flu Disaster Proclamation - Insurance Journal
1 Jul 2015 at 9:38am
Iowa Governor Extends Bird Flu Disaster Proclamation - Insurance Journal
1 Jul 2015 at 9:38am
Restrictions on bird sales aimed at preventing spread of bird flu - Central K...
1 Jul 2015 at 9:05am
Restrictions on bird sales aimed at preventing spread of bird flu - Central K...
1 Jul 2015 at 9:05am
Local crews return from bird flu cleanup - KWQC-TV6
29 Jun 2015 at 8:25pm
Local crews return from bird flu cleanup - KWQC-TV6
29 Jun 2015 at 8:25pm
Business Briefs: Bird flu emergency extended - DesMoinesRegister.com
29 Jun 2015 at 4:08pm
Business Briefs: Bird flu emergency extended - DesMoinesRegister.com
29 Jun 2015 at 4:08pm
State, poultry industry take precautions against bird flu - WTOP
29 Jun 2015 at 9:15am
State, poultry industry take precautions against bird flu - WTOP
29 Jun 2015 at 9:15am
Bird flu virus spread sends cost of eggs soaring - Journal Gazette and Times-...
28 Jun 2015 at 3:05pm
Bird flu virus spread sends cost of eggs soaring - Journal Gazette and Times-...
28 Jun 2015 at 3:05pm
Bird flu driving up egg prices at Tampa area restaurants, stores - TBO.com
28 Jun 2015 at 10:40am
Bird flu driving up egg prices at Tampa area restaurants, stores - TBO.com
28 Jun 2015 at 10:40am
Bird flu outbreak could affect Thanksgiving turkeys - The News Journal
26 Jun 2015 at 9:07pm
Bird flu outbreak could affect Thanksgiving turkeys - The News Journal
26 Jun 2015 at 9:07pm
Florida prepares for arrival of lethal bird flu - Sun Sentinel
26 Jun 2015 at 2:03pm
Florida prepares for arrival of lethal bird flu - Sun Sentinel
26 Jun 2015 at 2:03pm
Bird flu spurs 'brutal' egg price hikes - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
25 Jun 2015 at 5:48am
Bird flu spurs 'brutal' egg price hikes - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
25 Jun 2015 at 5:48am
Bird flu results in fewer eggs, layer hens in Minnesota - Minneapolis Star Tr...
24 Jun 2015 at 7:30pm
Bird flu results in fewer eggs, layer hens in Minnesota - Minneapolis Star Tr...
24 Jun 2015 at 7:30pm
Bird Flu Costing Iowa Jobs, Recovery Unlikely This Year - whotv.com
22 Jun 2015 at 1:19am
Bird Flu Costing Iowa Jobs, Recovery Unlikely This Year - whotv.com
22 Jun 2015 at 1:19am