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What is bird flu?

Bird flu, referred to as avian influenza in medical terms, is a rare infection in humans. As the name suggests, it is a viral infection seen in birds. Nevertheless, it can infect humans. An infected individual presents with several flu-like symptoms and requires treatment. In India, less than four thousand cases of bird flu are seen yearly.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The symptoms of bird flu are similar to those of influenza. Common symptoms include:

Occasionally, people may also experience nausea and vomiting. Alternatively, patients may only have an eye infection, without any other symptoms.

What are its main causes?

There are two types of bird flu virus, the most common type in humans being H5N1. In humans, the infection is mainly transmitted through birds by one of the following ways:

Handling poultry

  • Inhaling aerosolised material from open-air markets selling bird eggs and poultry
  • Touching infected birds
  • Bathing in water containing droppings of infected birds

Undercooked meat and eggs from infected birds can spread the infection. Eating meat or eggs in a thoroughly cooked form is considered safe for humans. The infection is not commonly known to spread from one person to another.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis of the infection can be done through general lab investigations since the specific test for bird flu is not commonly available at all places.

  • Investigation of fluid samples from nose and throat helps to check for the virus.
  • A complete blood count will confirm the presence of an infection in the body.
  • An X-ray of the chest is done to check the health of the lungs.

Standard treatment for bird flu involves anti-viral medications.

  • It is important that the medicine be taken within the first 48 hours of the appearance of symptoms.
  • The virus seen in humans is known to develop resistance to the most common anti-viral medications, hence alternative drugs may have to be prescribed.
  • As a preventive measure, all members of a patient’s family are screened for the virus and advised to stay away from environments that can expose them to the infection.
  • In some cases, the patient may be placed in isolation to eliminate any chances of spread of infection.
  1. Medicines for Bird Flu
  2. Doctors for Bird Flu
Dr. Subhajit Mondal

Dr. Subhajit Mondal

2 Years of Experience

Dr. Sai Theja reddy

Dr. Sai Theja reddy


Dr. Kishor Kameliya

Dr. Kishor Kameliya

2 Years of Experience

Dr. Jineesh Joseph

Dr. Jineesh Joseph

3 Years of Experience

Medicines for Bird Flu

Medicines listed below are available for Bird Flu. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine Name
Natflu खरीदें
Antiflu खरीदें
Fluhalt खरीदें
Fluvir खरीदें


  1. Direct (Elsevier) [Internet]; CTL epitopes for influenza A including the H5N1 bird flu; genome-, pathogen-, and HLA-wide screening
  2. Ron A. M et al. Avian influenza A virus (H7N7) associated with human conjunctivitis and a fatal case of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Feb 2004, 101 (5) 1356-1361
  3. Looi FY et al. Creating Disease Resistant Chickens: A Viable Solution to Avian Influenza?. Viruses. 2018 Oct 15;10(10). pii: E561.PMID: 30326625
  4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Information on Avian Influenza
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Avian Influenza in Birds
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