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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Sunday, March 01, 2015 9:36 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:
Man, 61, dies of bird flu in Hong Kong after contracting virus in mainland Ch...
1 Mar 2015 at 12:39am
Man, 61, dies of bird flu in Hong Kong after contracting virus in mainland Ch...
1 Mar 2015 at 12:39am
Bird Flu awareness important for backyard chicken owners - Cache Valley Daily
28 Feb 2015 at 4:40pm
Bird Flu awareness important for backyard chicken owners - Cache Valley Daily
28 Feb 2015 at 4:40pm
UK's chief vet talks bird flu control, trade impact and risks - FarmersWeekly
28 Feb 2015 at 2:04am
UK's chief vet talks bird flu control, trade impact and risks - FarmersWeekly
28 Feb 2015 at 2:04am
Hampshire farm bird flu restrictions lifted - BBC News
27 Feb 2015 at 5:48pm
Hampshire farm bird flu restrictions lifted - BBC News
27 Feb 2015 at 5:48pm
Bigpath Farm in Upham had bird flu restrictions imposed for almost a month - ...
27 Feb 2015 at 5:12pm
Bigpath Farm in Upham had bird flu restrictions imposed for almost a month - ...
27 Feb 2015 at 5:12pm
Washington free of bird flu quarantines - Capital Press
27 Feb 2015 at 9:50am
Washington free of bird flu quarantines - Capital Press
27 Feb 2015 at 9:50am
Poultry ban after bird flu outbreak in Monywa - Democratic Voice of Burma
27 Feb 2015 at 3:24am
Poultry ban after bird flu outbreak in Monywa - Democratic Voice of Burma
27 Feb 2015 at 3:24am
Bird flu outbreak in Monywa - Mizzima News
27 Feb 2015 at 3:17am
Bird flu outbreak in Monywa - Mizzima News
27 Feb 2015 at 3:17am
WHO sounds alarm over spread of Bird flu after massive cull in Myanmar - Asia...
27 Feb 2015 at 1:57am
WHO sounds alarm over spread of Bird flu after massive cull in Myanmar - Asia...
27 Feb 2015 at 1:57am
Bird Flu Reported in Myanmar - ThePoultrySite.com
26 Feb 2015 at 2:17am
Bird Flu Reported in Myanmar - ThePoultrySite.com
26 Feb 2015 at 2:17am
Govt Confirms Bird Flu Outbreak in Monywa - The Irrawaddy News Magazine
25 Feb 2015 at 10:30pm
Govt Confirms Bird Flu Outbreak in Monywa - The Irrawaddy News Magazine
25 Feb 2015 at 10:30pm
Egypt announces 14th bird flu death in 2015 - Egypt Independent
25 Feb 2015 at 7:18am
Egypt announces 14th bird flu death in 2015 - Egypt Independent
25 Feb 2015 at 7:18am
Hungary detects H5N8 bird flu virus in ducks - Reuters
25 Feb 2015 at 6:46am
Hungary detects H5N8 bird flu virus in ducks - Reuters
25 Feb 2015 at 6:46am
Bird Flu: Jigawa Government records three cases, kills 5000 birds - DailyPost...
24 Feb 2015 at 10:31pm
Bird Flu: Jigawa Government records three cases, kills 5000 birds - DailyPost...
24 Feb 2015 at 10:31pm
Bird flu hits Katsina - Daily Sun
24 Feb 2015 at 6:27pm
Bird flu hits Katsina - Daily Sun
24 Feb 2015 at 6:27pm
Quarantine Area Set Up For Local Bird Flu Case - myCentralOregon.com
24 Feb 2015 at 5:34pm
Quarantine Area Set Up For Local Bird Flu Case - myCentralOregon.com
24 Feb 2015 at 5:34pm
SWINE FLU & BIRD FLU, THEIR RELATION AND SAFETY OF CHICKEN AND ... - Kasmir M...
24 Feb 2015 at 11:31am
SWINE FLU & BIRD FLU, THEIR RELATION AND SAFETY OF CHICKEN AND ... - Kasmir M...
24 Feb 2015 at 11:31am
Hong Kong hospital staff exposed to bird flu patient in quarantine - South Ch...
24 Feb 2015 at 9:27am
Hong Kong hospital staff exposed to bird flu patient in quarantine - South Ch...
24 Feb 2015 at 9:27am
Reports Of Bird Flu In Obasanjo Farms False ? Agric Ministry - Information Ni...
24 Feb 2015 at 3:22am
Reports Of Bird Flu In Obasanjo Farms False ? Agric Ministry - Information Ni...
24 Feb 2015 at 3:22am
Seasonal flu and bird flu could mix and mutate, warns HKU scientist - South C...
23 Feb 2015 at 5:35pm
Seasonal flu and bird flu could mix and mutate, warns HKU scientist - South C...
23 Feb 2015 at 5:35pm