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Bird flu symptoms

Updated: Monday, August 03, 2015 6:06 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:
US battles poultry sickness rivalling bird flu - GlobalMeatNews.com
3 Aug 2015 at 3:50am
US battles poultry sickness rivalling bird flu - GlobalMeatNews.com
3 Aug 2015 at 3:50am
US Bird Flu Viruses Currently Low Risk to People - ThePoultrySite.com
3 Aug 2015 at 12:33am
US Bird Flu Viruses Currently Low Risk to People - ThePoultrySite.com
3 Aug 2015 at 12:33am
Official: Iran clear of bird flu threat - Tehran Times
2 Aug 2015 at 11:16pm
Official: Iran clear of bird flu threat - Tehran Times
2 Aug 2015 at 11:16pm
Farmers raise concern over possible return of bird flu - KTIV
1 Aug 2015 at 5:07pm
Farmers raise concern over possible return of bird flu - KTIV
1 Aug 2015 at 5:07pm
Main Street Morning: USDA to pay farmers $191 million for bird flu losses - W...
31 Jul 2015 at 6:56am
Main Street Morning: USDA to pay farmers $191 million for bird flu losses - W...
31 Jul 2015 at 6:56am
Bird flu vaccine nearing, but not in time for possible fall recurrence - Rick...
31 Jul 2015 at 6:48am
Bird flu vaccine nearing, but not in time for possible fall recurrence - Rick...
31 Jul 2015 at 6:48am
North Carolina preparing farmers for possible spread of bird flu - myfox8.com
30 Jul 2015 at 3:25pm
North Carolina preparing farmers for possible spread of bird flu - myfox8.com
30 Jul 2015 at 3:25pm
Protecting Alabama chickens from the bird flu - WIAT 42
29 Jul 2015 at 6:46pm
Protecting Alabama chickens from the bird flu - WIAT 42
29 Jul 2015 at 6:46pm
First bird flu quarantines lifted - Madison.com
29 Jul 2015 at 6:09pm
First bird flu quarantines lifted - Madison.com
29 Jul 2015 at 6:09pm
Bird flu precautions in place - Yadkin Ripple
29 Jul 2015 at 9:44am
Bird flu precautions in place - Yadkin Ripple
29 Jul 2015 at 9:44am
Iowa bird flu disaster declaration continues another month - WQAD.com
29 Jul 2015 at 8:15am
Iowa bird flu disaster declaration continues another month - WQAD.com
29 Jul 2015 at 8:15am
Montana State University Extension specialist responds to epicenter of bird f...
29 Jul 2015 at 2:19am
Montana State University Extension specialist responds to epicenter of bird f...
29 Jul 2015 at 2:19am
Bird Flu Affecting Turkey Supply in Grocery Stores - WSAW
28 Jul 2015 at 8:23pm
Bird Flu Affecting Turkey Supply in Grocery Stores - WSAW
28 Jul 2015 at 8:23pm
Prepared for worst, here's bird flu economic impact on Iowa - KCCI Des Moines
28 Jul 2015 at 2:17pm
Prepared for worst, here's bird flu economic impact on Iowa - KCCI Des Moines
28 Jul 2015 at 2:17pm
Bird flu, holiday baking driving up egg prices - The Columbian
28 Jul 2015 at 6:01am
Bird flu, holiday baking driving up egg prices - The Columbian
28 Jul 2015 at 6:01am
Germany culls 10000 hens after confirmed bird flu case - Reuters
27 Jul 2015 at 6:23am
Germany culls 10000 hens after confirmed bird flu case - Reuters
27 Jul 2015 at 6:23am
Farmers restocking their flocks as bird flu winds down - Madison.com
26 Jul 2015 at 5:51pm
Farmers restocking their flocks as bird flu winds down - Madison.com
26 Jul 2015 at 5:51pm
Bird flu raising egg prices at restaurants - DesMoinesRegister.com
24 Jul 2015 at 6:01pm
Bird flu raising egg prices at restaurants - DesMoinesRegister.com
24 Jul 2015 at 6:01pm
Approaching bird-flu virus means no chickens at Maryland State Fair - Washing...
24 Jul 2015 at 2:40pm
Approaching bird-flu virus means no chickens at Maryland State Fair - Washing...
24 Jul 2015 at 2:40pm
Minnesota poultry industry slowly coming back from bird flu losses - Minneapo...
23 Jul 2015 at 3:13pm
Minnesota poultry industry slowly coming back from bird flu losses - Minneapo...
23 Jul 2015 at 3:13pm