- by Dr Md Shiyad K K
- 0 Shares
- Jan 05 2018
BIRD FLU: SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT & PREVENTION
In the recent years, many parts of the world have been infected with bird flu sporadically. Bird flu, also known as the Avian Influenza and H591, is a type of influenza virus that infects birds and could be transmitted to humans and other animals.
Bird flu can occur naturally in a wild waterfowl and can spread to domestic poultry. The disease can also spread by coming in contact with an infected bird’s faeces or secretions from its nose, eyes or mouth. Birds and eggs that are sold in open air markets under unsanitary conditions are the hotbeds of infection. Consuming undercooked poultry or eggs can also spread the infection.
The symptoms of a bird flu begin to appear within two to seven days of the infection. Some of the symptoms are:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose
You are at a greater risk of contacting bird flu under the following conditions:
- If you are a poultry farmer
- Visiting affected areas
- Exposed to infected birds
- Eating undercooked poultry or eggs
- A healthcare worker
- Close to the infected person
Some life threatening complications of bird flu are:
- Pink eye
- Respiratory difficulties
- Kidney problems
- Heart problems
DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT
Bird flu can be diagnosed with the help of laboratory and imaging tests. In the lab test, the doctor will check your nose and throat for evidence of bird flu virus. In the imaging tests, the condition of your lungs could be assessed to determine a proper diagnosis.
Bird flu is treated using anti-viral medications depending on the severity of the infection. Often, bird flu can lead to other complications that would need separate treatment. Bird flu has a high mortality rate, therefore, it is important that the patient is diagnosed earlier in the infection to assess proper and timely treatment.
You can take the following steps to prevent contacting an infection:
- Consider taking a flu shot if you are travelling to an infected area
- Avoid rural areas and farms
- Wash your hands thoroughly and practice good hygiene
- Do not consume undercooked poultry
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