Avian Flu Symptoms

Avian flu is commonly known as the bird flu and is caused by a form of the influenza virus. The virus is mostly passed from birds to other birds but transmission to humans does occasionally occur when people have close contact with infected birds. Avian flu symptoms are very serious (often fatal) and medical treatment is needed immediately. Thus far cases have only been reported in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Avian flu is spread from one bird to another easily. The virus has a more difficult time crossing the species barrier to humans. Wild and domestic poultry can become infected. Markets where live birds and eggs are sold in poor conditions are places that increase your risk of exposure to avian flu symptoms. The virus is contained in infected bird droppings, or secretions from the nose, eyes and mouth of infected birds. Surfaces that have been contaminated harbor the virus and provide a place for the disease to spread as well. Precautions such as face masks and hand washing can help reduce the risk of contracting avian flu symptoms when in these areas.

Avian flu is not transmitted from consuming cooked poultry or eggs, even if the poultry source is infected with the virus. Thorough cooking of any poultry is required for safety from influenza virus and other bacteria. Surfaces that come into contact with raw poultry should be disinfected and the meat should be handled with care to avoid cross contamination to other foods and you develop any of the following symptoms after direct exposure to birds in the above mentioned countries abroad; you should seek emergency medical help.

• Cough• All over body aches• Fever• Nausea and/or vomiting• Diarrhea

While these symptoms are also the same as for the seasonal influenza experienced by many; it does not pose the medical emergency that these symptoms do when you have been exposed to possible avian influenza symptoms. Tell your doctor if you believe you have been in one of the areas where avian flu is known to exist.

These can become deadly when associated complications occur. Respiratory, heart, and kidney failure are some of the complications that lead to fatalities in humans. The incidence of humans who have developed avian flu symptoms is low at this time. Researchers do have concerns that the virus will continue to mutate and eventually a strain will develop that can infect humans easily. For this reason, they continue to research avian flu to learn it’s characteristics in the event of an outbreak.

If you will be traveling abroad you can do a few things to protect yourself. You should avoid places where this is a high concentration of birds. You should also make sure you practice proper hand washing or use of alcohol hand sanitizers. You should avoid raw eggs, undercooked poultry, and any food items that utilize raw eggs in their manufacture (for example mayonnaise).

Keeping your body healthy is a way to help your body resist infection with avian flu symptoms. Ensure you get enough rest, proper nutrition and reduce stresses. If you are currently experiencing an illness (of another type) or have a suppressed immune system; traveling to known infected areas may not be your best choice.