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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Thursday, July 31, 2014 2:24 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:
Flu Scan for Jul 29, 2014 - CIDRAP
29 Jul 2014 at 3:26pm
Flu Scan for Jul 29, 2014 - CIDRAP
29 Jul 2014 at 3:26pm
CDC mishaps show live flu viruses are nothing to play with - Reuters Blogs (b...
29 Jul 2014 at 8:58am
CDC mishaps show live flu viruses are nothing to play with - Reuters Blogs (b...
29 Jul 2014 at 8:58am
BiondVax reports positive deadly avian flu results - Globes
29 Jul 2014 at 6:02am
BiondVax reports positive deadly avian flu results - Globes
29 Jul 2014 at 6:02am
Avian Flu Strikes S Korean Ducks - Dallas Blog (blog)
27 Jul 2014 at 11:12pm
Avian Flu Strikes S Korean Ducks - Dallas Blog (blog)
27 Jul 2014 at 11:12pm
Officials in Jeollanam-do province confirm new case of bird flu - Arirang News
27 Jul 2014 at 2:18am
Officials in Jeollanam-do province confirm new case of bird flu - Arirang News
27 Jul 2014 at 2:18am
New Vikings stadium raises bird concerns - NBCSports.com
25 Jul 2014 at 1:49pm
New Vikings stadium raises bird concerns - NBCSports.com
25 Jul 2014 at 1:49pm
Strained relations: fears of a man-made flu pandemic - Irish Times
23 Jul 2014 at 5:03pm
Strained relations: fears of a man-made flu pandemic - Irish Times
23 Jul 2014 at 5:03pm
Bird's eye 130k crowdfunding for new synthetic shuttlecock - Business Weekly
23 Jul 2014 at 2:35am
Bird's eye 130k crowdfunding for new synthetic shuttlecock - Business Weekly
23 Jul 2014 at 2:35am
Bird flu mishap: CDC may never know - Independent Online
22 Jul 2014 at 11:40pm
Bird flu mishap: CDC may never know - Independent Online
22 Jul 2014 at 11:40pm
Coming soon -- a treatment for bird flu! - TheHealthSite
22 Jul 2014 at 6:43am
Coming soon -- a treatment for bird flu! - TheHealthSite
22 Jul 2014 at 6:43am
CDC says it 'may never know' cause of bird flu mishap - Fox News
22 Jul 2014 at 4:33am
CDC says it 'may never know' cause of bird flu mishap - Fox News
22 Jul 2014 at 4:33am
From anthrax to bird flu ? the dangers of lax security in disease-control lab...
18 Jul 2014 at 11:26am
From anthrax to bird flu ? the dangers of lax security in disease-control lab...
18 Jul 2014 at 11:26am
Japan Declared Free from H5N8 Bird Flu - UkrAgroConsult
18 Jul 2014 at 2:40am
Japan Declared Free from H5N8 Bird Flu - UkrAgroConsult
18 Jul 2014 at 2:40am
Low-pathogenic bird flu on the rise - FarmersWeekly
17 Jul 2014 at 8:42am
Low-pathogenic bird flu on the rise - FarmersWeekly
17 Jul 2014 at 8:42am
Eleven scientists from biosafety panel FIRED as CDC reveals bird flu breach ....
16 Jul 2014 at 4:55am
Eleven scientists from biosafety panel FIRED as CDC reveals bird flu breach ....
16 Jul 2014 at 4:55am
Scientists sacked amid fears over flu virus lab research - New Zealand Herald
15 Jul 2014 at 11:58pm
Scientists sacked amid fears over flu virus lab research - New Zealand Herald
15 Jul 2014 at 11:58pm
CDC Closes Labs After Anthrax, Flu Accidents - Kaiser Health News
14 Jul 2014 at 6:44am
CDC Closes Labs After Anthrax, Flu Accidents - Kaiser Health News
14 Jul 2014 at 6:44am
US anthrax probe reveals new bird flu mishap, widespread safety lapses - Fox ...
14 Jul 2014 at 5:20am
US anthrax probe reveals new bird flu mishap, widespread safety lapses - Fox ...
14 Jul 2014 at 5:20am
US Lab Mixed up Potent Flu Strain - Naharnet
12 Jul 2014 at 3:19am
US Lab Mixed up Potent Flu Strain - Naharnet
12 Jul 2014 at 3:19am
CDC Cracks Down on Labs After Anthrax, Bird Flu Scares - NBCNews.com
11 Jul 2014 at 5:13pm
CDC Cracks Down on Labs After Anthrax, Bird Flu Scares - NBCNews.com
11 Jul 2014 at 5:13pm