can a human get bird flu

Signs and Symptoms of Avian Influenza A Virus Infections in Humans

Human cases of bird flu virus infections have been reported with a wide range of signs and symptoms, including fever (temperature of 100ºF [37]) and no symptoms or mild illness (such as eye redness (conjunctivitis) or mild flu-like upper respiratory symptoms). Severe cases, such as pneumonia requiring hospitalization, have also been reported. 8ºC] or higher) or experiencing feverish* symptoms, headaches, sore throats, runny or stuffy noses, exhaustion, and breathing difficulties or shortness of breath Seizures, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other less typical symptoms

*Fever may not always be present

What Is Bird Flu?

A virus known as “bird flu,” also known as “avian influenza,” spreads from bird to bird. The H5N1 strain of bird flu is the most prevalent type. Although it doesn’t readily spread among humans and primarily affects birds, there was a significant human outbreak of bird flu in 2014. The extremely rare instances of human-to-human transmission involved very close contacts, such as a mother who contracted the virus while tending to her ill child.

Bird flu viruses are naturally spread by migrating waterfowl, particularly wild ducks. Researchers believe that diseases can transfer from wild birds to domestic poultry.

What Are the Types of Bird Flu?

There are two primary classifications of the avian influenza A virus:

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is more likely to kill hens and induce more serious illnesses in them.
  • Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) is less likely to result in death and causes less serious illness in hens.

Both varieties have the potential to seriously injure people and spread swiftly through flocks of birds. This is crucial because LPAI virus-infected birds may exhibit little to no illness symptoms before it spreads to other animals or people.

As viruses evolve over time, they frequently produce distinct subtypes known as strains. Human infection with bird flu is uncommon, and when it does occur, strains H5, H7, and H9 are typically the source. Researchers have found human strains of H10N8, H10N7, and H6N8 less frequently.


What would happen if humans get bird flu?

Illnesses in humans from bird flu virus infections have ranged in severity from no symptoms or mild illness (e.g., eye infection, upper respiratory symptoms) to severe disease (e.g., pneumonia) that resulted in death.

How do you treat bird flu in humans?

In general, treatment with the antiviral medicine oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) may make the disease less severe. For the medicine to work, you need to start taking it within 48 hours after your symptoms start.

What is the death rate of the bird flu in humans?

As of November 2022, 240 cases of human avian influenza A (H5N1) virus have been confirmed from the Western Pacific Region since 2003 with a case fatality rate of 56%.