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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Monday, September 01, 2014 4:10 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:
DA lifts Thailand bird import ban - InterAksyon
28 Aug 2014 at 11:06pm
DA lifts Thailand bird import ban - InterAksyon
28 Aug 2014 at 11:06pm
VN tackles latest avian flu outbreak - VietNamNet Bridge
27 Aug 2014 at 6:19pm
VN tackles latest avian flu outbreak - VietNamNet Bridge
27 Aug 2014 at 6:19pm
'Holy grail' of flu vaccinations? - Yahoo!7 News
27 Aug 2014 at 3:58am
'Holy grail' of flu vaccinations? - Yahoo!7 News
27 Aug 2014 at 3:58am
Bird flu vaccine may fight other strains - Herald Scotland
25 Aug 2014 at 7:09pm
Bird flu vaccine may fight other strains - Herald Scotland
25 Aug 2014 at 7:09pm
Rarer forms of flu could help with vaccine - Weekly Times Now
25 Aug 2014 at 12:59pm
Rarer forms of flu could help with vaccine - Weekly Times Now
25 Aug 2014 at 12:59pm
Almost 500 Pheasants Killed by H5N6 Bird Flu in Viet Nam - ThePoultrySite.com
25 Aug 2014 at 2:12am
Almost 500 Pheasants Killed by H5N6 Bird Flu in Viet Nam - ThePoultrySite.com
25 Aug 2014 at 2:12am
Working it out: Ebola? We need to worry about 'flu too - Irish Independent
24 Aug 2014 at 6:32pm
Working it out: Ebola? We need to worry about 'flu too - Irish Independent
24 Aug 2014 at 6:32pm
CDC bird flu contamination caused by man rushing to a meeting - DigitalJourna...
22 Aug 2014 at 1:46pm
CDC bird flu contamination caused by man rushing to a meeting - DigitalJourna...
22 Aug 2014 at 1:46pm
Sloppy science blamed for US bird flu scare - Western Producer (subscription)
21 Aug 2014 at 1:39pm
Sloppy science blamed for US bird flu scare - Western Producer (subscription)
21 Aug 2014 at 1:39pm
Hatoful Boyfriend gets bird flu, delayed to September - IncGamers.com
19 Aug 2014 at 4:34pm
Hatoful Boyfriend gets bird flu, delayed to September - IncGamers.com
19 Aug 2014 at 4:34pm
Human Error at CDC Almost Unleashes Bird Flu and Smallpox in the US - Chinatopix
19 Aug 2014 at 7:34am
Human Error at CDC Almost Unleashes Bird Flu and Smallpox in the US - Chinatopix
19 Aug 2014 at 7:34am
Procedures to Prevent New Avian Flu Strain A/H5N6 - ThePoultrySite.com
19 Aug 2014 at 3:15am
Procedures to Prevent New Avian Flu Strain A/H5N6 - ThePoultrySite.com
19 Aug 2014 at 3:15am
Flu Scan for Aug 18, 2014 - CIDRAP
18 Aug 2014 at 2:02pm
Flu Scan for Aug 18, 2014 - CIDRAP
18 Aug 2014 at 2:02pm
CDC scientist kept quiet about bird flu blunder - Mohave Valley News
18 Aug 2014 at 1:41am
CDC scientist kept quiet about bird flu blunder - Mohave Valley News
18 Aug 2014 at 1:41am
Suspected bird flu hits ducks in Indonesian province - The Nation
18 Aug 2014 at 12:41am
Suspected bird flu hits ducks in Indonesian province - The Nation
18 Aug 2014 at 12:41am
Vietnam alerts for bird flu outbreaks - SGGP
16 Aug 2014 at 2:03am
Vietnam alerts for bird flu outbreaks - SGGP
16 Aug 2014 at 2:03am
CDC scientist took shortcuts handling deadly bird flu virus, investigation fi...
15 Aug 2014 at 11:40am
CDC scientist took shortcuts handling deadly bird flu virus, investigation fi...
15 Aug 2014 at 11:40am
Do flu experiments put whole world at risk? - Atlanta Journal Constitution
15 Aug 2014 at 6:31am
Do flu experiments put whole world at risk? - Atlanta Journal Constitution
15 Aug 2014 at 6:31am
Vietnam detects first H5N6 bird flu in poultries - Thanh Nien Daily
15 Aug 2014 at 3:35am
Vietnam detects first H5N6 bird flu in poultries - Thanh Nien Daily
15 Aug 2014 at 3:35am
S. Korea to launch year-round watch against bird flu - Yonhap News
13 Aug 2014 at 6:14pm
S. Korea to launch year-round watch against bird flu - Yonhap News
13 Aug 2014 at 6:14pm