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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Sunday, November 19, 2017 2:43 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:
South Korea confirms H5N6 bird flu at duck farm - Channel NewsAsia
19 Nov 2017 at 7:56am
South Korea confirms H5N6 bird flu at duck farm - Channel NewsAsia
19 Nov 2017 at 7:56am
Bird flu: Egg industry criticises govt for reluctance to deal with backyard f...
19 Nov 2017 at 2:50am
Bird flu: Egg industry criticises govt for reluctance to deal with backyard f...
19 Nov 2017 at 2:50am
S. Korea steps up bird flu quarantine measures - Yonhap News
19 Nov 2017 at 1:04am
S. Korea steps up bird flu quarantine measures - Yonhap News
19 Nov 2017 at 1:04am
Fresh outbreak of bird flu detected in South Korea - The News Minute
18 Nov 2017 at 4:56am
Fresh outbreak of bird flu detected in South Korea - The News Minute
18 Nov 2017 at 4:56am
Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn - New York Times
17 Nov 2017 at 11:41am
Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn - New York Times
17 Nov 2017 at 11:41am
Bird flu warning to poultry keepers - Spirit FM
17 Nov 2017 at 11:17am
Bird flu warning to poultry keepers - Spirit FM
17 Nov 2017 at 11:17am
No new bird flu cases reported in WC - Eyewitness News
17 Nov 2017 at 1:49am
No new bird flu cases reported in WC - Eyewitness News
17 Nov 2017 at 1:49am
Bird flu causes Zinger Wing shortage - Highway Mail
16 Nov 2017 at 10:38pm
Bird flu causes Zinger Wing shortage - Highway Mail
16 Nov 2017 at 10:38pm
Lincoln biotech firms develop first licensed bird flu DNA vaccine for chicken...
15 Nov 2017 at 4:10pm
Lincoln biotech firms develop first licensed bird flu DNA vaccine for chicken...
15 Nov 2017 at 4:10pm
Could Your Cat Give You 'Bird Flu?' - U.S. News & World Report
15 Nov 2017 at 12:39pm
Could Your Cat Give You 'Bird Flu?' - U.S. News & World Report
15 Nov 2017 at 12:39pm
Bird-flu outbreak at Tivoli (2) - ANSA
14 Nov 2017 at 9:22am
Bird-flu outbreak at Tivoli (2) - ANSA
14 Nov 2017 at 9:22am
Why last year's bird flu outbreak could mean our Christmas turkeys cost more:...
13 Nov 2017 at 5:46pm
Why last year's bird flu outbreak could mean our Christmas turkeys cost more:...
13 Nov 2017 at 5:46pm
H5N8 'Bird Flu' Pandemic, Now Disruptive in South Africa, Might Have Been Con...
10 Nov 2017 at 1:57pm
H5N8 'Bird Flu' Pandemic, Now Disruptive in South Africa, Might Have Been Con...
10 Nov 2017 at 1:57pm
Bird flu: The worst may be over in WC - Eyewitness News
10 Nov 2017 at 12:57am
Bird flu: The worst may be over in WC - Eyewitness News
10 Nov 2017 at 12:57am
No new cases of bird flu in WC this week - Eyewitness News
9 Nov 2017 at 10:29am
No new cases of bird flu in WC this week - Eyewitness News
9 Nov 2017 at 10:29am
PHL chicken exports declining even before discovery of bird flu - Business Mi...
9 Nov 2017 at 8:26am
PHL chicken exports declining even before discovery of bird flu - Business Mi...
9 Nov 2017 at 8:26am
No new cases of bird flu in Western Cape over past week - Fin24
8 Nov 2017 at 7:51am
No new cases of bird flu in Western Cape over past week - Fin24
8 Nov 2017 at 7:51am
PHL on track to regaining bird flu-free status by year-end - Business Mirror
8 Nov 2017 at 7:35am
PHL on track to regaining bird flu-free status by year-end - Business Mirror
8 Nov 2017 at 7:35am
Bird Flu outbreak sends KFC into Zinger Wing shortage - The South African
6 Nov 2017 at 8:17am
Bird Flu outbreak sends KFC into Zinger Wing shortage - The South African
6 Nov 2017 at 8:17am
Bulgaria reports two more outbreaks of virulent bird flu - Reuters
5 Nov 2017 at 12:21pm
Bulgaria reports two more outbreaks of virulent bird flu - Reuters
5 Nov 2017 at 12:21pm