As China reports the first human to be infected with the H3N8 strain of the bird flu and the United States reports a Colorado man infected with the H5N1 strain, you might be wondering what the symptoms of bird flu are.
Here is what you need to know.
What causes bird flu?
Bird flu is a type of influenza virus that rarely affects humans.
But when the virus strikes, it can be deadly.
Most people who develop bird flu come into contact with sick birds, but in very rare cases, is it transmitted between humans, according to The Mayo Clinic.
Different cases of the bird flu have occurred in Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. But only sporadic human cases have been reported since 2015.
What are the symptoms of the bird flu?
According to The Mayo Clinic, the following symptoms of bird flu appear in infected individuals within two to seven days of infection:
- sore throat
- muscle aches
- shortness of breath
Other symptoms might include nausea, diarrhea or vomiting.
Some cases of bird flu may only show symptoms of a mild eye infection.
Is there a vaccine for the bird flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US government is preparing vaccines for different strains of the bird flu to be used in humans should they be needed.
However, there is no vaccine for the most recent strain of bird flu (H3N8).
To protect against the bird flu, the CDC recommends that every person 6 months and older receive a seasonal flu vaccine ideally two weeks before exposure to sick birds.
While it will not guarantee protection against bird flu, it will reduce the odds of getting sick with human and bird flu at the same time.
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