Most animals and mammals are susceptible to influenza in various forms. Some types of influenza can travel from human to animal and some from animal to human. Avian Influenza has many variants that may affect all, or most types, of birds from the common chicken to wild migratory birds. Fortunately, for humans, most bird influenza have no impact on human populations. However, there are a few strains that have managed to crossover, such as H5N1 and H7N9 which have been a recurrent problem in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Pacific Regions, and in some parts of Europe as well. Outbreaks in the United States have been low comparatively but some strains have caused problems in the US as well.
In most cases, people who come down with a strain of avian influenza are those who have been in close proximity to birds who have contracted it or have had contact with bird excrement or mucous, etc. In rarer cases, avian influenza may be spread by eating poorly cooked eggs or poultry.
Symptoms can range from mild to extreme. Any suspected symptoms should be evaluated immediately by a medical doctor. If you suspect that you could be contagious, seek emergency medical treatment immediately. Some of the more common symptoms are listed below.
Treatment is typically with antiviral medicines. Antiviral medicines may, in some cases, can lessen the severity of avian influenza. Antiviral medicines may also prevent avian influenza from developing in people who could have been exposed to it. While Avian Influenza can be deadly, it is not easily spread, thus far, from person to person. But viruses and diseases can change over time, so any case of avian influenza should be taken very seriously and emergency medical assistance should be pursued immediately upon suspicion of exposure.
"It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."