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Bird flu: Flu-like and lung-related symptoms

  1. Avian influenza is a very rare contagious bird disease in humans that occurs mainly in Asian countries. The disease is the result of a virus that various birds may transmit to humans. Flu-like symptoms are characteristic of the viral infection, although eye and lung-related symptoms are also possible. The characteristics of avian flu vary in severity, but certain variants of the virus are in many cases fatal to humans. Treatment is supportive and symptomatic and consists mainly of antiviral drugs and possibly other necessary treatments. Some measures can help people to reduce the risk of bird flu virus infection.

Epidemiology and risk factors

  1. The disease is very rare, and is mainly found in Asian countries. People who come into contact with sick animals are more likely to get the virus, such as farmers, poultry farmers and veterinarians. Heat kills the virus, so eating fully cooked birds

Causes: Bird flu virus transmitted by birds

  1. Types of influenza viruses

Flu-like and eye and lung related symptoms

  1. Flu-like symptoms About ten days after the patient contracted the infection, the symptoms of bird flu develop. Initially, the patient has mild flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, swollen throat and sore throat, cough, headache such as morning headache, fever, muscle aches

Diagnosis and Investigations

  1. The physician questions the patient about his symptoms and history of medical conditions. He then inquires whether the patient possibly lives in or has traveled to a high-risk area or works with high-risk birds. Then he will perform a blood test, take swabs of the nasal mucosa or perform imaging studies (such as an X-ray)


  1. The bird flu is mainly treated with antiviral drugs

Prevention disease

  1. Uninfected birds should not come into contact with wild birds; therefore poultry farmers have to house their animals. In addition, all animals are checked before they are sold. Infected birds are killed to prevent the spread of the disease. Furthermore, all people who work in or around high-risk birds receive the flu vaccine.

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