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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Thursday, February 11, 2016 5:54 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:
Patient-to-Doctor Spread of Bird Flu Reported in China - U.S. News & World Re...
10 Feb 2016 at 3:35pm
Patient-to-Doctor Spread of Bird Flu Reported in China - U.S. News & World Re...
10 Feb 2016 at 3:35pm
Indiana to lift most bird flu-related restrictions soon - nwitimes.com
9 Feb 2016 at 7:35am
Indiana to lift most bird flu-related restrictions soon - nwitimes.com
9 Feb 2016 at 7:35am
Indiana preparing to lift most bird flu-related restrictions - Indianapolis B...
8 Feb 2016 at 10:13pm
Indiana preparing to lift most bird flu-related restrictions - Indianapolis B...
8 Feb 2016 at 10:13pm
Two Bird Flu Strains Affecting Poultry in Taiwan - ThePoultrySite.com
8 Feb 2016 at 2:45am
Two Bird Flu Strains Affecting Poultry in Taiwan - ThePoultrySite.com
8 Feb 2016 at 2:45am
More Bird Flu Reported in Cote D'Ivoire - ThePoultrySite.com
8 Feb 2016 at 2:26am
More Bird Flu Reported in Cote D'Ivoire - ThePoultrySite.com
8 Feb 2016 at 2:26am
New US Rules to Ensure Contractors Get Compensation in Bird Flu Outbreaks - T...
8 Feb 2016 at 1:56am
New US Rules to Ensure Contractors Get Compensation in Bird Flu Outbreaks - T...
8 Feb 2016 at 1:56am
Nigeria: Bird Flu - Kano State Govt Kills 340000 Birds in Two Months - AllAfr...
7 Feb 2016 at 11:22am
Nigeria: Bird Flu - Kano State Govt Kills 340000 Birds in Two Months - AllAfr...
7 Feb 2016 at 11:22am
Bird Flu: Kano Decimates 340, 000 Birds - The Guardian Nigeria (satire) (pres...
6 Feb 2016 at 4:34pm
Bird Flu: Kano Decimates 340, 000 Birds - The Guardian Nigeria (satire) (pres...
6 Feb 2016 at 4:34pm
Bird flu crisis will inflate foie gras bill and could end up costing the indu...
6 Feb 2016 at 4:56am
Bird flu crisis will inflate foie gras bill and could end up costing the indu...
6 Feb 2016 at 4:56am
Bird flu crisis will inflate foie gras bill, French makers say - Daily Mail
5 Feb 2016 at 9:33am
Bird flu crisis will inflate foie gras bill, French makers say - Daily Mail
5 Feb 2016 at 9:33am
Nigeria: Bird Flu Spreads to 44 Farms in Kano - AllAfrica.com
5 Feb 2016 at 12:16am
Nigeria: Bird Flu Spreads to 44 Farms in Kano - AllAfrica.com
5 Feb 2016 at 12:16am
Macau bird flu case sparks probe into whether Guangdong farm supplied Hong Ko...
3 Feb 2016 at 11:14pm
Macau bird flu case sparks probe into whether Guangdong farm supplied Hong Ko...
3 Feb 2016 at 11:14pm
H7 bird flu virus detected in Macao market - Shanghai Daily (subscription)
3 Feb 2016 at 7:13pm
H7 bird flu virus detected in Macao market - Shanghai Daily (subscription)
3 Feb 2016 at 7:13pm
Bird Flu Hits Nasarawa State - CHANNELS TELEVISION
3 Feb 2016 at 1:39pm
Bird Flu Hits Nasarawa State - CHANNELS TELEVISION
3 Feb 2016 at 1:39pm
Swine and Bird Flu on the Rise Across Syria February 3rd, 2016 2 min read -...
3 Feb 2016 at 10:27am
Swine and Bird Flu on the Rise Across Syria February 3rd, 2016 2 min read -...
3 Feb 2016 at 10:27am
Official: Bird flu cases reminder of need for tracking rules - WNDU-TV
1 Feb 2016 at 10:12am
Official: Bird flu cases reminder of need for tracking rules - WNDU-TV
1 Feb 2016 at 10:12am
HomeNewsTillage Could Have Spread Bird Flu in Minnesota - AgWeb
30 Jan 2016 at 5:22pm
HomeNewsTillage Could Have Spread Bird Flu in Minnesota - AgWeb
30 Jan 2016 at 5:22pm
US on high alert for bird flu after Indiana poultry outbreak - AOL News
29 Jan 2016 at 7:47am
US on high alert for bird flu after Indiana poultry outbreak - AOL News
29 Jan 2016 at 7:47am
Bird flu spreads to 18 states, 2.5m chickens affected - The Punch
29 Jan 2016 at 7:30am
Bird flu spreads to 18 states, 2.5m chickens affected - The Punch
29 Jan 2016 at 7:30am
University of Minnesota study says farmers may have aided bird flu's spread -...
28 Jan 2016 at 7:08pm
University of Minnesota study says farmers may have aided bird flu's spread -...
28 Jan 2016 at 7:08pm