can a bird survive bird flu

What Is Bird Flu in Birds?

Avian flu, commonly referred to as bird flu, is a virus that infects birds. Each strain typically has a more severe effect on fewer bird species, but the virus can mutate and even spread to non-avian species. Typically, bird flu strains are classified as either high or low pathogenicity, or their capacity to cause illness.

How Veterinarians Diagnose Bird Flu in Birds

To diagnose bird flu, veterinarians use PCR tests, antigens, and a combination of symptoms. Unfortunately, because of how quickly the illness advances, it is frequently discovered after a person has passed away.

Symptoms of Bird Flu in Birds

Low Pathogenic Signs

  • Asymptomatic (showing no symptoms)
  • Mild decrease in egg production (less than 25%)
  • Thin shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Decreased water or food consumption
  • Poor temperature regulation
  • Wheezing, clicking, or other respiratory sounds
  • Nasal discharge
  • Swollen eyelids

Birds with low bird flu strains may become ill for several days or weeks, but they usually recover with veterinary assistance.

High Pathogenic Signs

  • Significant inappetence or anorexia
  • No egg production
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Ataxia (poor muscle control)
  • Torticollis (twisted neck posture)
  • Mucous in the airway to the level of obstructing airflow
  • Sudden death

When there are high pathogenic strains present, symptoms frequently appear 24-48 hours before death, and occasionally death occurs so quickly that no symptoms have time to manifest.

Can humans catch bird flu from birds?

Yes. Less frequently, they can also contract it from other species. Those who get the illness may experience long-term health effects. As of right now, there is no vaccine to protect humans from bird flu.

Swayne DE. Veterinary Information Network. Avian Influenza. 2008.

Featured : iStock.com/Kalinovskiy

Swayne DE. Veterinary Information Network. Avian Influenza. 2008.

Featured : iStock.com/Kalinovskiy

Dr. Zayas, who currently resides in Colorado with her three dogs, one cat, and other exotic pets, has practiced small animal and exotic medicine throughout the country.