Symptoms of bird flu include cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, and shortness of breath.
Clinical Pearl of the Day: Bird flu (avian influenza)
Bird flu is caused by a type of influenza virus that rarely infects humans.
- More than a dozen types of bird flu have been identified, including the 2 strains that have most recently infected humans—H5N1 and H7N9. When bird flu does strike humans, it can be deadly.
- Outbreaks of bird flu have occurred in Asia, Africa, North America, and parts of Europe.
- Symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, and shortness of breath.
- Influenza A (H5N1) vaccine is used for active immunization to prevent disease caused by the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype in patients over 6 months of age at increased risk of exposure.
- Influenza A (H5N1) vaccine is available under the brand name Audenz.
- Many influenza viruses have become resistant to the effects of a category of antiviral drugs that include amantadine and rimantadine (Flumadine).
- Health officials recommend the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or, if oseltamivir can't be used, zanamivir (Relenza). These drugs must be taken within 2 days after the appearance of symptoms.