Which clinical history findings are characteristic of avian influenza?

Updated: Feb 12, 2020
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, MA(Cantab), FAAP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The key history component that should prompt consideration of avian influenza as a possible diagnosis is exposure to sick, dead, or dying poultry or humans with avian influenza. Many cases involve close contact, such as plucking or gutting of dead birds, removing infected carcasses, or ingesting incompletely cooked bird meat or blood. Some cases have had no link to prior exposure to sick birds, suggesting that spread from asymptomatic birds is possible or that the virus can be transmitted environmentally on fomites.

The time from exposure to disease is slightly longer than in human influenza, although this interval can be as short as 2 days. Intervals of up to 17 days have been reported, although most cases occur within one week of exposure. [14]

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