Avian flu (bird flu)

21:54 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Avian flu (bird flu)?

This viral disease is caused by the avian flu virus type A, in which only a couple of strains have come to infect humans. This virus is found naturally in wild birds, who usually do not show symptoms, but can infect domestic birds such as chickens, turkeys, and ducks. When people come into contact with poultry or their feces and secretions, although it is not common, they can develop the disease, sometimes with fatal consequences. There is a global concern that some of the virus mutations could develop a greater ability to spread from one person to another causing a pandemic. For this reason, there are multiple scientific instances investigating the development of a vaccine that protects us from this virus and allows us to prevent this possible fateful event.

Symptoms

The characteristic symptoms appear between three and eight days after infection, being similar to those of human influenza:
  • Sore joints and muscles.
  • Headache.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Coughing fits.
  • High fever.
  • Sore throat.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Conjunctivitis.
If you have any of these symptoms and have recently visited a farm, a market with live animals, or had contact with birds, go to your doctor and tell them about these situations. The possible complications of avian flu are diverse and can be life-threatening, such as:
  • Heart conditions.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Respiratory failure.
  • Kidney failure.
In addition to avoiding contact with poultry, it is recommended to maintain strict hygiene when handling or preparing food containing poultry meat and eggs, which must be cooked properly.

Diagnosis and treatment

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination and take samples of your nasal and pharyngeal secretions to analyze them in the laboratory and identify if the virus is present. Likewise, they will request chest X-rays and other imaging studies to observe the lung involvement that the virus may have caused. When the diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment to follow will depend on the symptoms’ magnitude and your general health, but in all cases an antiviral, or a combination of several of them, is usually prescribed since the virus has developed resistance to some of these drugs. Additionally, if there is any secondary bacterial infection, it should be treated with the appropriate medications. At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • paho.org
  • topdoctors.es
  • medlineplus.gov
  • mayoclinic.org
  • msdmanuals.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Echániz-Aviles G. Influenza aviar: ¿debemos preocuparnos?. Salud Pública Mex. 2004;46(2):186-187.
  • Coria-Lorenzo JJ, Sierra-Calle AE, Guerrero-Mendoza G, et al. Influenza y los virus aviar: la amenaza latente de un nuevo virus pandémico. Acta Pediatr Mex. 2019;40(3):154-165.
  • Steffani-Hernández G, Chávez-Maya F, Rojas-Anaya E, et al. Análisis del genoma de un virus atípico de influenza aviar H5N2 de baja patogenicidad de origen mexicano. Vet Mex. 2016;3(2):1-9.
  • González A, Noda J, Vega A, et al. Desarrollo de un nuevo antígeno contra el virus de la influenza aviar basado en la fusión de dominios expuestos de la hemaglutinina viral del subtipo H5 y la proteína CD154 de Gallus gallus. Biotecnol Apl. 2012;29(4):275-278.

						
The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.