Bird Flu or Avian Flu: Symptoms, Causes, Vaccine, Treatment & Prevention


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Bird Flu or Avian Flu: Symptoms, Causes, Vaccine, Treatment & Prevention

The outbreak of bird flu has occurred in Asia, Africa, North America, and parts of Europe. Most of the people who have developed symptoms of bird flu have close contact with sick birds. In a few cases, bird flu has passed from one to another.


What is Bird Flu?

Bird flu also known as Avian flu is one infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds. In rare cases, it affects humans. Avian influenza, known informally as bird flu, is a variety of influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.


Bird flu is similar to swine flu, dog flu, horse flu, and human flu as an illness caused by a strain of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host. Out of these three types of influenza A, B & C influenza a virus is a zoonotic infection with the natural reservoir almost entirely in birds.



There are several types of bird flu and one was the first avian influenza virus to infect humans. The first infection occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. The outbreak was linked to handling infected poultry.


Bird flu is spread by close contact with an infected bird dead or alive. This includes

  • Touching infected birds
  • Touching dropping or bedding
  • Killing or preparing infected poultry for cooking
  • Markets, where live birds are sold, can also be a source of bird flu.


You can’t catch bird flu by eating fully cooked poultry or eggs, even in areas with an outbreak of flu.

  • There is no bird flu vaccine
  • The seasonal flu vaccine doesn’t protect against bird flu.
  • This disease is transmitted to humans through contact with infected bird feces call nasal secretion or secretion from the mouth or eyes.
  • Consuming properly cooked poultry or eggs from infected birds doesn’t transmit bird flu, but an excuse should never be served runny.
  • Meat is considered safe if it has been cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F.



The main symptoms of bird flu can appear very quickly and include

  • Very high-temperature fever or feeling hot or shivery
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Cough or shortness of breath.


Early Symptoms may include

  • Diarrhea
  • Sickness
  • Stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Malaise
  • Sore throat
  • Bleeding from nose and gums


It usually takes 3 to 5 days for the first symptoms to appear after you have been infected.


Within days of symptoms appearing, it is possible to develop more severe complications such as pneumonia and accurate respiratory distress syndrome.


In a few cases, mild eye infection conjunctivitis is only indicative of the disease.


If you’re exposed to bird flu call your mom you should notify staff before you arrive at the doctor’s office or hospital whose dog alerting them ahead of time will allow them to take precautions to protect staff and other patients before caring for you.


Get medical attention as soon as possible this may prevent complications and reduce the risk of developing severe illness.


Risk factor

You may have a greater risk factor of contracting H5N1 (Means Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus A H5N1) if you are

  • A poultry farmer
  • A traveler visiting affected areas
  • Exposed to infected birds
  • Someone who eats uncooked poultry or egg
  • A healthcare worker caring for infected patients
  • A household member of an infected person.



People with bird flu may develop life-threatening complications including

  • Pneumonia
  • Pink eye
  • Respiratory failure
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Heart problems



Health officials worry that a global outbreak could occur if a bird flu virus transmits more easily from person to person. Researchers are working on vaccines to help protect people from bird flu.


How It Is Diagnosed

The Center for Disease Control Prevention CDC has approved a test designed to identify avian influenza.

  • Your doctor may also perform the following tests to look for the presents of the virus that cause bird flu
  • Auscultation (it is a test that detects abnormal breath sounds)
  • White blood cell differential
  • Chest X-ray


Additional tests can be done to assess the function of your heart, kidney, and liver.


Treatment of bird flu

Different types of bird flu can cause different symptoms. As a result, results may vary

  • See your doctor immediately if you have developed a fever, cough, and body aches and have recently traveled to a part of the world where bird flu occurs.
  • We shall let your doctor know if you have visited any farm or open-air market.
  • Your doctor may recommend you get a bird flu shot so that you don’t get a human strain of influenza.
  • If you develop both the avian flu and human flu at the same time, it could create a new possibly deadly form of flu.


Prevention of bird flu

The CDC has issued no recommendations against traveling to a country that is affected by H5N1. However, you can minimize your risk by avoiding

  • Open-air markets
  • Contact with infected birds
  • Uncooked poultry
  • Make sure to practice good hygiene and wash your hands regularly.
  • Wash your hands this is one of the simplest ways to prevent bird flu. use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when you travel.
  • Heat destroys the avian virus, cooked poultry isn’t a health threat. Even so, it’s best to take precautions when handling and preparing poultry, which may be contaminated with other harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Use hot, soapy water to wash cutting, utensils, and all surfaces that have come in contact with raw poultry.
  • Cook thoroughly. Cook chicken until juices run clear, and it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit
  • Steer clear of raw eggs. Because eggs shells are often contaminated with bird droppings, avoid foods containing raw or uncooked eggs.
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