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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 8:48 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:
Strained relations: fears of a man-made flu pandemic - Irish Times
23 Jul 2014 at 5:03pm
Strained relations: fears of a man-made flu pandemic - Irish Times
23 Jul 2014 at 5:03pm
Bird's eye 130k crowdfunding for new synthetic shuttlecock - Business Weekly
23 Jul 2014 at 2:35am
Bird's eye 130k crowdfunding for new synthetic shuttlecock - Business Weekly
23 Jul 2014 at 2:35am
Coming soon -- a treatment for bird flu! - TheHealthSite
22 Jul 2014 at 6:43am
Coming soon -- a treatment for bird flu! - TheHealthSite
22 Jul 2014 at 6:43am
CDC says it 'may never know' cause of bird flu mishap - Fox News
22 Jul 2014 at 4:33am
CDC says it 'may never know' cause of bird flu mishap - Fox News
22 Jul 2014 at 4:33am
Tackling immune response could be promising new direction for flu drugs - Med...
22 Jul 2014 at 3:12am
Tackling immune response could be promising new direction for flu drugs - Med...
22 Jul 2014 at 3:12am
CDC 'may never know' how bird flu contamination happened - Daily Digest
21 Jul 2014 at 7:08pm
CDC 'may never know' how bird flu contamination happened - Daily Digest
21 Jul 2014 at 7:08pm
From anthrax to bird flu ? the dangers of lax security in disease-control lab...
18 Jul 2014 at 11:26am
From anthrax to bird flu ? the dangers of lax security in disease-control lab...
18 Jul 2014 at 11:26am
Japan Declared Free from H5N8 Bird Flu - UkrAgroConsult
18 Jul 2014 at 2:40am
Japan Declared Free from H5N8 Bird Flu - UkrAgroConsult
18 Jul 2014 at 2:40am
Low-pathogenic bird flu on the rise - FarmersWeekly
17 Jul 2014 at 8:42am
Low-pathogenic bird flu on the rise - FarmersWeekly
17 Jul 2014 at 8:42am
300 vials labeled influenza,dengue found at US lab (Update) - Medical Xpress
16 Jul 2014 at 10:39pm
300 vials labeled influenza,dengue found at US lab (Update) - Medical Xpress
16 Jul 2014 at 10:39pm
Eleven scientists from biosafety panel FIRED as CDC reveals bird flu breach ....
16 Jul 2014 at 4:55am
Eleven scientists from biosafety panel FIRED as CDC reveals bird flu breach ....
16 Jul 2014 at 4:55am
Scientists sacked amid fears over flu virus lab research - New Zealand Herald
15 Jul 2014 at 11:59pm
Scientists sacked amid fears over flu virus lab research - New Zealand Herald
15 Jul 2014 at 11:59pm
CDC Closes Labs After Anthrax, Bird Flu and Small Pox Scares - GovExec.com
14 Jul 2014 at 9:41am
CDC Closes Labs After Anthrax, Bird Flu and Small Pox Scares - GovExec.com
14 Jul 2014 at 9:41am
CDC Closes Labs After Anthrax, Flu Accidents - Kaiser Health News
14 Jul 2014 at 6:44am
CDC Closes Labs After Anthrax, Flu Accidents - Kaiser Health News
14 Jul 2014 at 6:44am
What could cure the Blue Flu? - wreg.com
13 Jul 2014 at 2:12pm
What could cure the Blue Flu? - wreg.com
13 Jul 2014 at 2:12pm
H7N9 bird flu comes home to roost in China - The Rakyat Post
13 Jul 2014 at 8:11am
H7N9 bird flu comes home to roost in China - The Rakyat Post
13 Jul 2014 at 8:11am
CDC discovers botched shipment with bird flu, closes down labs - The Hill
12 Jul 2014 at 5:03am
CDC discovers botched shipment with bird flu, closes down labs - The Hill
12 Jul 2014 at 5:03am
US Lab Mixed up Potent Flu Strain - Naharnet
12 Jul 2014 at 3:19am
US Lab Mixed up Potent Flu Strain - Naharnet
12 Jul 2014 at 3:19am
CDC reveals incident with bird flu, safety lapses - Washington Post
11 Jul 2014 at 12:21pm
CDC reveals incident with bird flu, safety lapses - Washington Post
11 Jul 2014 at 12:21pm
Additional case of bird flu brings total to 436 this year in China - Vaccine ...
10 Jul 2014 at 8:13am
Additional case of bird flu brings total to 436 this year in China - Vaccine ...
10 Jul 2014 at 8:13am