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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Sunday, November 23, 2014 4:53 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:
What would happen if bird flu hit Surrey? - Eagle Radio
23 Nov 2014 at 12:07am
What would happen if bird flu hit Surrey? - Eagle Radio
23 Nov 2014 at 12:07am
Ducks culled as bird flu spreads - Herald Scotland
22 Nov 2014 at 8:07pm
Ducks culled as bird flu spreads - Herald Scotland
22 Nov 2014 at 8:07pm
Bird flu boon for SA companies - Times LIVE
22 Nov 2014 at 3:01pm
Bird flu boon for SA companies - Times LIVE
22 Nov 2014 at 3:01pm
Germany reports second case of bird flu: H5N8 found in wild bird - Reuters
22 Nov 2014 at 10:31am
Germany reports second case of bird flu: H5N8 found in wild bird - Reuters
22 Nov 2014 at 10:31am
Bird Flu Spreads in Dutch Poultry - ThePoultrySite.com
22 Nov 2014 at 10:00am
Bird Flu Spreads in Dutch Poultry - ThePoultrySite.com
22 Nov 2014 at 10:00am
Bird Flu Detected in Wild Duck in Japan - ThePoultrySite.com
22 Nov 2014 at 9:18am
Bird Flu Detected in Wild Duck in Japan - ThePoultrySite.com
22 Nov 2014 at 9:18am
German authorities confirm second case of bird flu - ITV News
22 Nov 2014 at 9:09am
German authorities confirm second case of bird flu - ITV News
22 Nov 2014 at 9:09am
Dutch culling 8000 ducks to prevent bird flu outbreak - Press TV
22 Nov 2014 at 8:18am
Dutch culling 8000 ducks to prevent bird flu outbreak - Press TV
22 Nov 2014 at 8:18am
Dutch cull ducks amid bird flu fears in poultry heartland - Medical Xpress
22 Nov 2014 at 7:46am
Dutch cull ducks amid bird flu fears in poultry heartland - Medical Xpress
22 Nov 2014 at 7:46am
Bird flu detected in Chiba Prefecture - The Japan News
22 Nov 2014 at 4:37am
Bird flu detected in Chiba Prefecture - The Japan News
22 Nov 2014 at 4:37am
Dutch to destroy 8000 ducks to prevent bird flu outbreak - Reuters
22 Nov 2014 at 3:26am
Dutch to destroy 8000 ducks to prevent bird flu outbreak - Reuters
22 Nov 2014 at 3:26am
Bird flu sees Swiss ban UK, Dutch poultry - SBS
22 Nov 2014 at 12:51am
Bird flu sees Swiss ban UK, Dutch poultry - SBS
22 Nov 2014 at 12:51am
More symptoms of bird flu in Netherlands - Xinhua
21 Nov 2014 at 5:56pm
More symptoms of bird flu in Netherlands - Xinhua
21 Nov 2014 at 5:56pm
Switzerland bans Dutch poultry imports, new bird flu cases in Holland - Chann...
21 Nov 2014 at 3:58pm
Switzerland bans Dutch poultry imports, new bird flu cases in Holland - Chann...
21 Nov 2014 at 3:58pm
Bird flu hits third poultry farm in Netherlands - Business Standard
21 Nov 2014 at 2:26pm
Bird flu hits third poultry farm in Netherlands - Business Standard
21 Nov 2014 at 2:26pm
Bird Flu Found on 3 More Dutch Farms - Paw Nation
21 Nov 2014 at 11:16am
Bird Flu Found on 3 More Dutch Farms - Paw Nation
21 Nov 2014 at 11:16am
Bird Flu and Ebola Viruses: Crossing the Species Barrier Should Not Be Ignore...
21 Nov 2014 at 8:46am
Bird Flu and Ebola Viruses: Crossing the Species Barrier Should Not Be Ignore...
21 Nov 2014 at 8:46am
UPDATE 1-Third Dutch chicken farm hit by bird flu - Reuters
21 Nov 2014 at 8:19am
UPDATE 1-Third Dutch chicken farm hit by bird flu - Reuters
21 Nov 2014 at 8:19am
Bird flu found on three more Dutch farms - Channel News Asia
21 Nov 2014 at 8:07am
Bird flu found on three more Dutch farms - Channel News Asia
21 Nov 2014 at 8:07am
Bird flu detected on three more Dutch farms - RTE.ie
21 Nov 2014 at 7:52am
Bird flu detected on three more Dutch farms - RTE.ie
21 Nov 2014 at 7:52am