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Bird flu (Avian flu) - Treatment, Prevention


Prognosis
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Treatment|
People with suspected symptoms of bird flu (avian flu) will be advised to stay at home, or will be cared for in hospital in isolation from other patients.
The main recommendations are:
Resting
Drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthily
Taking medication to help treat fever and pain, such as aspirin and paracetamol
Many influenza viruses have become resistant to the effects of a category of antiviral drugs that includes amantadine and rimantadine (Flumadine). Health officials recommend the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or, if oseltamivir can't be used, zanamivir (Relenza). These drugs must be taken within two days after the appearance of symptoms.
There is concern, however, that some types of bird flu may be developing resistance to oseltamivir. Chinese health officials have developed another type of flu medication that received accelerated approval from their government for the treatment of H7N9 bird flu.
Prevention|
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk when you visit areas where outbreaks have been reported, such as:
Avoid domesticated birds. If possible, avoid rural areas, small farms and open-air markets.
Wash your hands. This is one of the simplest and best ways to prevent infections of all kinds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol when you travel.
Ask about a flu shot. Before traveling, ask your doctor about a flu shot. It won't protect you specifically from bird flu, but it may help reduce the risk of simultaneous infection with bird and human flu viruses.
Avoid visiting live animal markets and poultry farms
Avoid contact with surfaces that are contaminated with bird droppings
Don't pick up or touch birds (dead or alive)
Don't eat or handle undercooked or raw poultry, egg or duck dishes
Don't bring any live poultry products back to the UK, including feathers
Always practise good personal hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly

There are no restrictions on travel to countries that have been or are currently affected by bird flu.

Medicines & Drugs (A-Z)