Bird Flu

Below you will find more information about Bird Flu from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Bird Flu it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Bird Flu and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Bird Flu comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Bird flu is a disease commonly affecting wild and domestic birds that, when transmitted to humans, can be potentially fatal.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of bird flu is based on clinical presentations and knowledge of possible exposure to contaminated regions or contact with infected poultry in areas with recent virus outbreaks. Swabs may be taken from the patient's throat and nose for laboratory analysis.

Treatment

Antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are the current drugs of choice for treating bird flu.

Symptoms and Signs

Bird flu presents with coughing, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, and conjunctivitis among infected humans. In severe cases, individuals with bird flu develop life-threatening complications such as viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress.

Causes

Bird flu is caused by an avian influenza virus, which has three known strains: influenza A; influenza B; and influenza C. The bird flu virus is transmitted to humans through contact with infected poultry or exposure to surfaces contaminated by infected birds. It is more common in areas where humans live close to chickens and pigs. The disease starts with infected wild birds, which shed the virus through droppings, saliva, and nasal secretions. The virus is then transmitted to domesticated poultry via direct contact with these wild birds or through contaminated water, feed, or soil. Open-air markets where poultry and eggs are sold are breeding grounds for infection and spread the disease to a bigger population.

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