The bird flu or avian influenza is caused by the type A influenza virus. The condition can spread in both wild and domesticated birds. It can spread from birds to humans who are in close contact with them.
Humans who were in close contact with infected birds face the risk for acquiring the bird flu. The common route is the ingestion of infected bird droppings if unable to wash hands properly. Remember that the virus can also survive in raw poultry meat but destroyed during normal cooking.
What are the indications of bird flu?
Even though there are limited cases to determine the precise incubation period of bird flu, it is usually between 3-10 days. The indications of bird flu in humans strikingly resemble the flu such as:
- Sore throat
- Sore or aching muscles
The cases of bird flu among humans can lead to a variety of serious and potentially dangerous complications such as:
- Pneumonia including the viral type
- Eye infections
- Inflammation of the heart and brain
- Acute respiratory distress
There are several antiviral medications that are used to manage influenza that are also effective for bird flu. These can be used if the individual develops symptoms after potential exposure to bird flu or to prevent the illness among those who were in close contact with a carrier.
At the present, a vaccine for the bird flu is still under development but not yet available. Take note that the currently available vaccines for influenza will not provide protection to humans. Nevertheless, individuals who might be exposed to the condition should consider getting a vaccine for the human influenza to minimize the possibility for the virus to form a new strain.