It is a type of Influenza that is caused by the virus which rarely affects human. Mainly two strains of virus have been identified that causes infection in human. They are H5N1 and H7N9. Avian influenza can be fatal. Asia, Africa, North America and parts of Europe have suffered the outbreaks of bird flu.
Symptoms usually arises within 2 to 7 days of infection and presents as:
- Frequent coughing
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Problematic breathing
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Rarely conjunctivitis
The main cause of this influenza is coming in contact with infected bird faeces or saliva. Consuming undercook meat or eggs of infected bird can also lead to the development of influenza.
Concerning complications can develop from bird flu that may prove life-threatening. Some of them are:
- Kidney dysfunction
- Respiratory failure
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye
- Heart problems
- Diagnosis depends upon some laboratory test which include samples taken from nose and throat.
- Some imaging test can also be done which include x-ray, CT scan and MRIs.
- Most of the influenza viruses become resistance to the antiviral drugs like amantadine and rimantadine (Flumadine).
- Some drugs like oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or, if oseltamivir can’t be used, zanamivir (Relenza) are prescribed now a days.