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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 5:20 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:
Here's how the flu virus kills some people so quickly - NBCNews.com
22 Jan 2018 at 1:20pm
Here's how the flu virus kills some people so quickly - NBCNews.com
22 Jan 2018 at 1:20pm
Bird flu: Human cases of the avian influenza prompts travel warning ahead of ...
22 Jan 2018 at 11:29am
Bird flu: Human cases of the avian influenza prompts travel warning ahead of ...
22 Jan 2018 at 11:29am
Hertfordshire nature reserve closes due to bird flu - BBC News - BBC News
22 Jan 2018 at 7:19am
Hertfordshire nature reserve closes due to bird flu - BBC News - BBC News
22 Jan 2018 at 7:19am
Bird flu crackdown as Yorkshire council urges public to report sightings - Yo...
22 Jan 2018 at 6:07am
Bird flu crackdown as Yorkshire council urges public to report sightings - Yo...
22 Jan 2018 at 6:07am
Iranian Health Official Rejects Rumors about Bird Flu Deaths - Tasnim News Ag...
22 Jan 2018 at 4:21am
Iranian Health Official Rejects Rumors about Bird Flu Deaths - Tasnim News Ag...
22 Jan 2018 at 4:21am
Maharashtra government on its heels to prevent Bird-Flu in the state - Mumbai...
22 Jan 2018 at 1:44am
Maharashtra government on its heels to prevent Bird-Flu in the state - Mumbai...
22 Jan 2018 at 1:44am
Bird flu alert is heightened as new area hit by disease - Plymouth Herald
21 Jan 2018 at 2:38pm
Bird flu alert is heightened as new area hit by disease - Plymouth Herald
21 Jan 2018 at 2:38pm
Sixth case dies of infection with bird flu in Salahuddin: Medical sources - I...
21 Jan 2018 at 10:40am
Sixth case dies of infection with bird flu in Salahuddin: Medical sources - I...
21 Jan 2018 at 10:40am
South Korea Winter Olympics Preparing for 'Bird Flu' ? Precision ... - Precis...
20 Jan 2018 at 4:49pm
South Korea Winter Olympics Preparing for 'Bird Flu' ? Precision ... - Precis...
20 Jan 2018 at 4:49pm
Bird flu outbreak in Karnataka: Eating chicken? Make sure it has been cooked ...
20 Jan 2018 at 10:19am
Bird flu outbreak in Karnataka: Eating chicken? Make sure it has been cooked ...
20 Jan 2018 at 10:19am
Bird flu has been found at a nature reserve less than an hour from ... - Camb...
20 Jan 2018 at 7:23am
Bird flu has been found at a nature reserve less than an hour from ... - Camb...
20 Jan 2018 at 7:23am
Bristol put into 'prevention zone' as bird flu sweeps the country ... - Brist...
20 Jan 2018 at 1:00am
Bristol put into 'prevention zone' as bird flu sweeps the country ... - Brist...
20 Jan 2018 at 1:00am
People who keep birds told to 'restrict movements' after bird flu warning - N...
19 Jan 2018 at 9:06am
People who keep birds told to 'restrict movements' after bird flu warning - N...
19 Jan 2018 at 9:06am
Bird flu warning for the West Country - ITV News
19 Jan 2018 at 8:46am
Bird flu warning for the West Country - ITV News
19 Jan 2018 at 8:46am
Bird flu: Nuneaton animal sanctuary forced to close - Coventry Telegraph
18 Jan 2018 at 8:17am
Bird flu: Nuneaton animal sanctuary forced to close - Coventry Telegraph
18 Jan 2018 at 8:17am
Bird flu zone extended as strain discovered in Warwickshire - BBC News
18 Jan 2018 at 5:21am
Bird flu zone extended as strain discovered in Warwickshire - BBC News
18 Jan 2018 at 5:21am
'Prevention zone' imposed across England as more bird flu discovered - Poultr...
18 Jan 2018 at 4:10am
'Prevention zone' imposed across England as more bird flu discovered - Poultr...
18 Jan 2018 at 4:10am
National prevention zone in place as bird flu hits second site - FG Insight
18 Jan 2018 at 3:43am
National prevention zone in place as bird flu hits second site - FG Insight
18 Jan 2018 at 3:43am
Cambodia Issues Health Warning Over Bird Flu Outbreak in Phnom Penh - VOA Khmer
16 Jan 2018 at 8:28am
Cambodia Issues Health Warning Over Bird Flu Outbreak in Phnom Penh - VOA Khmer
16 Jan 2018 at 8:28am
Bird Flu: Highly pathogenic H5N8 case outbreak near Bengaluru in Karnataka, s...
15 Jan 2018 at 10:37pm
Bird Flu: Highly pathogenic H5N8 case outbreak near Bengaluru in Karnataka, s...
15 Jan 2018 at 10:37pm