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Avian Influenza

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Updated: Wednesday, Nov 25,2009, 4:51:38 PM
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Avian Influenza

Avian influenza (bird flu) is caused by influenza virus infection in birds originally. Infected poultry, including chickens, ducks, geese and other migratory birds. More recently, the cat has been found to be infected, which may be infected with bird-eating dog.

There are several bird flu virus, H5N1 virus, the recent attention because it has led to several deaths mostly in Asia. So far, bird flu spread primarily from birds to birds, from birds to people more often, human-human transmission occurs rarely. Who will be the majority of human bird flu has worked with sick or dead poultry or wild birds, or have visited the market in direct contact with live poultry.

Major concern with avian flu is that it is a serious cold, and nothing in the natural resistance in the population. At least one antiviral drug (oseltamivir), can increase the survival chance of infection. (See 'below the anti-viral drugs.)

Vaccines have been developed in order to prevent avian influenza. The vaccine is not commercially available, but has been stored in case the U.S. government, you will need in the future.

Update on avian flu information is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seasonal flu-like symptoms

Seasonal influenza, the symptoms may vary, but usually include fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, cough and sore throat may also exist. And avian flu in humans are usually 2-5 days, fever and upper respiratory tract viruses compared with other causes fever, are usually resolved, 24 to 48 hours.

Some people experience of bird flu, while others such as fever and muscle pain, flu symptoms. Influenza-like symptoms will usually improve 2-5 days, although the illness may last for more than a week. Weakness and fatigue may persist for several weeks (Table 1).

Complications from influenza - Influenza complications occur in some people, pneumonia is the most common. Pneumonia is a serious lung infection, but more likely to occur in people over 65 years old, long-term care facilities, residents, and those such as diabetes or conditions affecting the heart or lung disease foundation. (See "Patient information: Adult pneumonia.")

Influenza Diagnosis

Influenza is usually diagnosed based on typical symptoms (fever, cough and muscle pain). Influenza laboratory tests, in selected cases, such as in the community of a new flu pandemic.

Influenza vaccine

When to seek help - Most people in a cold one to two weeks to heal, will not be processed. However, influenza may be serious complications. If you develop a following, please immediately of any health care workers.


Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
Chest or abdominal pain or pressure
Dehydration symptoms such as dizziness when standing up can not urinate, or a lack of tears when the baby cry
Confusion or less a normal reaction to
Epileptic seizures or convulsions
Severe vomiting or unable to keep fluids down

Treatment of symptoms - Treatment of influenza-like symptoms can help you feel better, but it will not shorten the duration of colds.


Rest until the sense of completely solved, especially if the illness has been seriously
Fluids - drink enough liquid, so you will not become dehydrated.
Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol ® and other brands) to relieve fever, headache and muscle pain. Aspirin and drugs, including aspirin (such as bismuth salicylate; PeptoBismol), should be avoided, especially in children under the age of 18, because it can cause serious illness called Reye syndrome.
Antitussives do not usually help; cough treatment, usually not resolved. We do not recommend children under age six years cough or cold medicines. (See "Patient information: In the children's cold.")

Antiviral drugs - - antiviral drugs may be recommended to prevent or treat influenza. When used as a treatment, this drug does not eliminate the symptoms of a cold, but at least 2 to 3 days can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. Not everyone needs to influenza antiviral treatment; the decision was made following receipt of your development based on the risk of complications from influenza.

Existing antiviral drugs, including oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®), zanamivir (Relenza ®), rimantadine (Flumadine ®) and amantadine (Symmetrel ®). Anti-viral therapy is most effective when taken in the first 48 hours of influenza symptoms of seasonal influenza.

The best treatment or prevention of influenza antiviral drugs depends on the type of influenza virus, resulting in the possibility of resistance, some patients-related factors. This decision was made by health care providers. (See "Prevention and treatment of influenza in children, prevention of seasonal influenza in adults" and "adult patients with seasonal flu" and "antiviral" and "influenza pandemic of H1N1 virus treatment ( 'swine flu')" and "Prevention of H1N1 an influenza pandemic ( 'swine flu')".)

Side effects - zanamivir and oseltamivir can cause mild side effects, including nausea and vomiting; tie it, which is inhaled, will lead to some cases, breathing difficulties, most patients are able to continue, despite the side effects drugs.

Antibiotics - Antibiotics are not used for treatment, such as influenza virus disease. Should only use of antibiotics, if there is a heavy cold, such as bacterial pneumonia, otitis media, sinusitis, bacteria or complications. Antibiotics can cause side effects, leading to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Complementary and alternative therapies - there are many herbal medicine, homeopathy and other complementary and alternative therapies a wide range of influenza sale. Unfortunately, very few well-designed study to assess its efficacy and safety.

Homeopathy is one, oscillococcinum, seems to be the prevention of influenza invalid, but may be in reducing the duration of flu-like symptoms are very limited benefit (from the average of 8 hours, from 11:59 hours) [1]. Serious side effects have not yet reported, but its safety has not been widely assessed.

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