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HomeAnswersInternal Medicineavian influenzaI am experiencing cough and a high fever. Is it avian influenza?

What are the signs and symptoms of avian influenza?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

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Published At March 24, 2024
Reviewed AtMarch 24, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am 37-years-old and have been keeping up with the news about avian influenza. Recently, I have started experiencing symptoms that are causing me significant anxiety. I have a persistent cough and a high fever. I am finding it increasingly difficult to breathe. Considering the recent outbreaks, I can not dismiss the concern that I might have contracted avian influenza. The potential consequences terrify me. What steps should I take? Do these symptoms align with avian influenza, and if they do, how urgently should I seek medical attention?

Kindly help.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and understood your concern.

Based on the symptoms you have described, it is not necessarily indicative of avian influenza, also known as bird flu. While avian influenza can cause fever, cough, and shortness of breath, it typically presents with additional symptoms such as muscle aches, fatigue, and a sore throat. Additionally, avian influenza is primarily spread through contact with infected birds or their droppings, not through casual human-to-human contact. However, given the severity of your symptoms and your concerns about avian influenza, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Your doctor will be able to evaluate your symptoms and determine if further testing or treatment is necessary. It is essential to remember that it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health. If you are experiencing any concerning symptoms, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional. The treatment for avian influenza, also known as bird flu, is focused on managing symptoms and preventing complications. Antiviral medications, such as Oseltamivir or Zanamivir, are often prescribed to help reduce the severity and duration of the illness. These medications work by inhibiting the virus's ability to replicate in the body. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to provide supportive care, such as oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids, and monitoring of vital signs. In some cases, mechanical ventilation may be required to help a person breathe. Prevention is also crucial in managing avian influenza. This includes avoiding contact with sick birds or their droppings, practicing good hand hygiene, and cooking poultry and eggs thoroughly.

Vaccination is also available for individuals at high risk of exposure to avian influenza, such as poultry workers and laboratory personnel working with the virus. It is essential to remember that the best way to prevent the spread of avian influenza is through early detection and reporting of cases. If you suspect that you have been exposed to avian influenza or are experiencing symptoms consistent with the disease, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately.

I hope this has helped you.

Kindly follow up if you have more doubts.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Vandana Andrews
Dr. Vandana Andrews

General Practitioner

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