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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Friday, October 31, 2014 1:55 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:
Universal Israeli flu vaccine gets additional approvals - i24news
30 Oct 2014 at 4:51am
Universal Israeli flu vaccine gets additional approvals - i24news
30 Oct 2014 at 4:51am
Two More Cases Of Bird Flu Reported In China - RTT News
29 Oct 2014 at 4:53pm
Two More Cases Of Bird Flu Reported In China - RTT News
29 Oct 2014 at 4:53pm
OIE notified of multiple bird flu outbreaks in China - GlobalMeatNews.com
28 Oct 2014 at 3:36am
OIE notified of multiple bird flu outbreaks in China - GlobalMeatNews.com
28 Oct 2014 at 3:36am
Bird flu outbreak in Gorontalo, thousands of chickens culled - Jakarta Post
27 Oct 2014 at 3:38am
Bird flu outbreak in Gorontalo, thousands of chickens culled - Jakarta Post
27 Oct 2014 at 3:38am
Deadly flu pandemic could shut down Melbourne - The Age
24 Oct 2014 at 9:43pm
Deadly flu pandemic could shut down Melbourne - The Age
24 Oct 2014 at 9:43pm
India loses dispute over bird flu curbs on US? - Western Producer (subscription)
23 Oct 2014 at 2:09pm
India loses dispute over bird flu curbs on US? - Western Producer (subscription)
23 Oct 2014 at 2:09pm
Bird Flu Costs SA R4 Billion - AllAfrica.com
22 Oct 2014 at 6:39am
Bird Flu Costs SA R4 Billion - AllAfrica.com
22 Oct 2014 at 6:39am
White House suspends funding for risky flu studies - Al Jazeera America
20 Oct 2014 at 2:17pm
White House suspends funding for risky flu studies - Al Jazeera America
20 Oct 2014 at 2:17pm
Avian Flu Fast Facts - ErieTVNews
20 Oct 2014 at 8:18am
Avian Flu Fast Facts - ErieTVNews
20 Oct 2014 at 8:18am
FLASHBACK: When Conservative Media Didn't Care Bush's Bird Flu Czar Had ... -...
20 Oct 2014 at 7:41am
FLASHBACK: When Conservative Media Didn't Care Bush's Bird Flu Czar Had ... -...
20 Oct 2014 at 7:41am
UR Researchers Recruiting Older Adults to Test H7N9 Bird Flu Vaccines - Unive...
15 Oct 2014 at 5:04am
UR Researchers Recruiting Older Adults to Test H7N9 Bird Flu Vaccines - Unive...
15 Oct 2014 at 5:04am
Doctors: Ebola Fears Making People Forget About Flu Dangers - CBS Local
14 Oct 2014 at 7:57pm
Doctors: Ebola Fears Making People Forget About Flu Dangers - CBS Local
14 Oct 2014 at 7:57pm
India loses WTO dispute over bird flu curbs on US poultry - Reuters
14 Oct 2014 at 9:33am
India loses WTO dispute over bird flu curbs on US poultry - Reuters
14 Oct 2014 at 9:33am
As Ebola spreads, a look back at bird flu - STLtoday.com
14 Oct 2014 at 5:36am
As Ebola spreads, a look back at bird flu - STLtoday.com
14 Oct 2014 at 5:36am
Azerbaijan tightly controlling avian flu - AzerNews
9 Oct 2014 at 4:17am
Azerbaijan tightly controlling avian flu - AzerNews
9 Oct 2014 at 4:17am
Ebola is bad. But the flu is worse. - Politico
8 Oct 2014 at 4:38pm
Ebola is bad. But the flu is worse. - Politico
8 Oct 2014 at 4:38pm
More Low-Path Bird Flu Found in South African Ostriches - ThePoultrySite.com
8 Oct 2014 at 1:11am
More Low-Path Bird Flu Found in South African Ostriches - ThePoultrySite.com
8 Oct 2014 at 1:11am
Bird Flu Protection's New One-Two Punch: 'Priming' With One Vaccine, Then ......
7 Oct 2014 at 1:06pm
Bird Flu Protection's New One-Two Punch: 'Priming' With One Vaccine, Then ......
7 Oct 2014 at 1:06pm
Dutch Bird Flu Case Contained - ThePoultrySite.com
3 Oct 2014 at 2:36am
Dutch Bird Flu Case Contained - ThePoultrySite.com
3 Oct 2014 at 2:36am
Russia reports first case of deadly bird flu in two years - Fox News
1 Oct 2014 at 4:48am
Russia reports first case of deadly bird flu in two years - Fox News
1 Oct 2014 at 4:48am