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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Saturday, May 30, 2015 1:18 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:
Could virus make the leap from birds to people? - CNBC
30 May 2015 at 10:39am
Could virus make the leap from birds to people? - CNBC
30 May 2015 at 10:39am
Iowa's bird flu state of emergency extended - The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Break...
30 May 2015 at 9:19am
Iowa's bird flu state of emergency extended - The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Break...
30 May 2015 at 9:19am
Bird flu op-ed was disappointing - Green Bay Press Gazette
30 May 2015 at 5:05am
Bird flu op-ed was disappointing - Green Bay Press Gazette
30 May 2015 at 5:05am
Futures File: Bird flu hits breakfast prices - Casper Star-Tribune Online
29 May 2015 at 9:10pm
Futures File: Bird flu hits breakfast prices - Casper Star-Tribune Online
29 May 2015 at 9:10pm
Bird flu outbreak has agriculture officials, Valley farmers on alert - Allent...
29 May 2015 at 6:28pm
Bird flu outbreak has agriculture officials, Valley farmers on alert - Allent...
29 May 2015 at 6:28pm
Bird flu mandate grounds 4-H members' fowl - Chicago Tribune
29 May 2015 at 3:46pm
Bird flu mandate grounds 4-H members' fowl - Chicago Tribune
29 May 2015 at 3:46pm
Bird Flu Found At Moody County Turkey Farm Of 50000 Birds - KDLT News
29 May 2015 at 3:41pm
Bird Flu Found At Moody County Turkey Farm Of 50000 Birds - KDLT News
29 May 2015 at 3:41pm
Free-range turkey debate could reignite over bird flu - Ames Tribune
29 May 2015 at 3:03pm
Free-range turkey debate could reignite over bird flu - Ames Tribune
29 May 2015 at 3:03pm
Local Farm Speaks On Bird Flu - knopnews2
29 May 2015 at 12:44pm
Local Farm Speaks On Bird Flu - knopnews2
29 May 2015 at 12:44pm
Bird flu and feed costs hit poultry firms in 2015 - FoodManufacture.co.uk
29 May 2015 at 11:28am
Bird flu and feed costs hit poultry firms in 2015 - FoodManufacture.co.uk
29 May 2015 at 11:28am
USDA seeks more contractors to aid efforts in bird flu outbreak - Reuters
29 May 2015 at 6:58am
USDA seeks more contractors to aid efforts in bird flu outbreak - Reuters
29 May 2015 at 6:58am
Mexico vulnerable to bird flu - WHO - Independent Online
28 May 2015 at 11:14pm
Mexico vulnerable to bird flu - WHO - Independent Online
28 May 2015 at 11:14pm
Effect of bird flu on egg prices no yolk - STLtoday.com
28 May 2015 at 10:01pm
Effect of bird flu on egg prices no yolk - STLtoday.com
28 May 2015 at 10:01pm
Malvern landfill prepares to dispose of 'bird flu waste' - KETV Omaha
28 May 2015 at 2:58pm
Malvern landfill prepares to dispose of 'bird flu waste' - KETV Omaha
28 May 2015 at 2:58pm
Another Iowa county struck by bird flu - WQAD.com
28 May 2015 at 2:31pm
Another Iowa county struck by bird flu - WQAD.com
28 May 2015 at 2:31pm
Ivory Coast confirms H5N1 bird flu outbreak: OIE - Reuters
28 May 2015 at 10:36am
Ivory Coast confirms H5N1 bird flu outbreak: OIE - Reuters
28 May 2015 at 10:36am
Third of Post Holdings's Nebraska Chicken Flock Tests Positive for Bird Flu -...
28 May 2015 at 3:50am
Third of Post Holdings's Nebraska Chicken Flock Tests Positive for Bird Flu -...
28 May 2015 at 3:50am
H5N1 bird flu confirmed on two farms in Ghana - Yahoo News
28 May 2015 at 12:22am
H5N1 bird flu confirmed on two farms in Ghana - Yahoo News
28 May 2015 at 12:22am
Bird flu egg-splained: The impact goes far beyond your breakfast table - Yaho...
27 May 2015 at 9:30am
Bird flu egg-splained: The impact goes far beyond your breakfast table - Yaho...
27 May 2015 at 9:30am
Bird flu restricts transportation of birds in Indiana - Fort Wayne Journal Ga...
27 May 2015 at 7:28am
Bird flu restricts transportation of birds in Indiana - Fort Wayne Journal Ga...
27 May 2015 at 7:28am