What is bird flu or avian influenza?

According to WebMD websiteBird flu, or avian influenza, is a viral infection spread from bird to bird. Currently, a particularly deadly strain of bird flu -- H5N1 -- continues to spread among poultry in Egypt and in certain parts of Asia.

Year 2011, the disease was well established in six nations: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Photo: NPR
Avian Flu Symptoms for Birds:

  • Sudden death without any signs
  • Lack of coordination
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, combs, and legs
  • Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Lack of energy and appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles and hocks
  • Nasal discharge
  • Decreased egg production
  • Coughing, sneezing

Worker should be aware of the signs of Avain Flu or Birds Flu. 

Avian Flu Symptoms for Humans

All poultry workers should know the signs and symptoms of avian influenza virus infection in humans so that measures can be taken for immediate treatment. The signs and symptoms may include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Conjunctivitis (eye infections)
  • Muscle aches
Infection with avian influenza viruses can also lead to:
  • Acute respiratory distress
  • Other severe and life-threatening complications 

A worker who experiences any of these symptoms or illnesses, or who may have been exposed to the avian influenza virus, should seek medical care and tell the healthcare provider before arrival that exposure to the avian influenza virus may have occurred.