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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Monday, April 24, 2017 1:56 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:
Iran reports H5N1 bird flu outbreak in northern part of country: OIE - Reuters
24 Apr 2017 at 5:38am
Iran reports H5N1 bird flu outbreak in northern part of country: OIE - Reuters
24 Apr 2017 at 5:38am
Avian flu restrictions at wildlife park gave the birds another type of fever....
24 Apr 2017 at 2:30am
Avian flu restrictions at wildlife park gave the birds another type of fever....
24 Apr 2017 at 2:30am
As Bird Flu Strengthens In China, Midwest Farmers Prepare For The ... - KCUR
24 Apr 2017 at 1:21am
As Bird Flu Strengthens In China, Midwest Farmers Prepare For The ... - KCUR
24 Apr 2017 at 1:21am
Congress, WHO sound the alarm over pandemic bird flu or avian flu ... - Washi...
21 Apr 2017 at 8:07am
Congress, WHO sound the alarm over pandemic bird flu or avian flu ... - Washi...
21 Apr 2017 at 8:07am
No more bird-flu risk in Netherlands; poultry allowed outside again - NL Times
20 Apr 2017 at 8:36am
No more bird-flu risk in Netherlands; poultry allowed outside again - NL Times
20 Apr 2017 at 8:36am
Georgia ends bird flu restrictions for producers - Atlanta Journal Constitution
19 Apr 2017 at 2:28pm
Georgia ends bird flu restrictions for producers - Atlanta Journal Constitution
19 Apr 2017 at 2:28pm
South Korea to keep importing eggs despite bird flu downgrade - WHTC
19 Apr 2017 at 12:18am
South Korea to keep importing eggs despite bird flu downgrade - WHTC
19 Apr 2017 at 12:18am
South Korea to downgrade bird flu alert status from highest level - Reuters
17 Apr 2017 at 10:45pm
South Korea to downgrade bird flu alert status from highest level - Reuters
17 Apr 2017 at 10:45pm
Bird flu redirects trade of U.S. goods - Toledo Blade
17 Apr 2017 at 9:03pm
Bird flu redirects trade of U.S. goods - Toledo Blade
17 Apr 2017 at 9:03pm
Bird flu measures could be lifted this week - Jersey Evening Post
17 Apr 2017 at 1:56am
Bird flu measures could be lifted this week - Jersey Evening Post
17 Apr 2017 at 1:56am
Welcome Easter present for East Anglian free range egg producers hit by restr...
15 Apr 2017 at 10:10pm
Welcome Easter present for East Anglian free range egg producers hit by restr...
15 Apr 2017 at 10:10pm
Free-range egg producer welcomes lifting of bird flu restrictions in time for...
14 Apr 2017 at 2:03am
Free-range egg producer welcomes lifting of bird flu restrictions in time for...
14 Apr 2017 at 2:03am
Outdoor return for hens as bird flu fears fade - BBC News
13 Apr 2017 at 4:08pm
Outdoor return for hens as bird flu fears fade - BBC News
13 Apr 2017 at 4:08pm
Spread of bird flu checked in Alabama, so far - Montgomery Advertiser
13 Apr 2017 at 1:17pm
Spread of bird flu checked in Alabama, so far - Montgomery Advertiser
13 Apr 2017 at 1:17pm
Bird flu: What is it, exactly? - Agri News
13 Apr 2017 at 12:10pm
Bird flu: What is it, exactly? - Agri News
13 Apr 2017 at 12:10pm
Wyre farmer says her hens are 'scared stiff' after bird flu captivity - Lanca...
13 Apr 2017 at 6:39am
Wyre farmer says her hens are 'scared stiff' after bird flu captivity - Lanca...
13 Apr 2017 at 6:39am
Virulent bird flu strain threatens to spill out of China - SciDev.Net
13 Apr 2017 at 5:36am
Virulent bird flu strain threatens to spill out of China - SciDev.Net
13 Apr 2017 at 5:36am
State Vet: Bird flu in Middle TN did not spread - WBIR-TV
12 Apr 2017 at 5:21pm
State Vet: Bird flu in Middle TN did not spread - WBIR-TV
12 Apr 2017 at 5:21pm
China's H7N9 bird flu death toll at 47 in March: government data - Reuters
11 Apr 2017 at 11:41pm
China's H7N9 bird flu death toll at 47 in March: government data - Reuters
11 Apr 2017 at 11:41pm
NEWSFLASH: Bird Flu restrictions lifted for Melton poultry owners - Melton Times
11 Apr 2017 at 9:58am
NEWSFLASH: Bird Flu restrictions lifted for Melton poultry owners - Melton Times
11 Apr 2017 at 9:58am