Avian influenza, or bird flu for short, is a multiple subtype influenza A virus infecting primarily birds. However, some of avian flu’s subtypes have infected humans, for which the H5N1 type is proving to be the deadliest.
Presently, avian influenza is of little contagious concern. Most developing bird flu virus infection symptoms had some contact with sick birds, ofttimes domesticated chicken, ducks and turkeys. For now, your risk of contracting avian influenza from another is low.
But, because all influenza viruses have the ability to change, the H5N1 spread ability status could change abruptly. And since humans have little or no immunity against the infection, a pandemic is not beyond the realm of possibility. Vaccine development is in the works.
In humans, avian flu is a very rare infectious disease and the influenza A H5N1 virus will not infect you without difficulty. Health symptoms of bird flu resemble those of other forms of influenza, including:
Some have developed serious health complications from bird flu, notably:
To date, over half of those infected with H5N1 type avian influenza have died.
Avian’s primary treatment is Tamiflu, which prevents the virus from multiplying. Drug treatment needs to commence within a couple of days after your symptoms appear. Therefore, if your travels involve bird flu outbreak regions and you begin to experience flu symptoms, get with a health care provider ASAP.
Because heat destroys avian viruses, cooked poultry is not a contemplated bird flu health threat. Nonetheless, cook it until the juices run clear, since salmonella, listeria, campylobacter or other harmful bacteria are.