What are the clinical manifestations of avian influenza (A/H7N7) pneumonia?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Avian influenza has a fulminant course and a high mortality rate. The clinical symptoms of avian influenza depend on the etiologic agent. Those infected with A/H7N7 have conjunctivitis and/or an influenzalike illness. In the 1997 outbreak of A/H5N5, 11 of 18 patients were younger than 14 years. Gastrointestinal symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting were prominent. Seven recovered, but 11 progressed to pneumonia and six died of ARDS or multiorgan failure.

In the 2004 outbreak, the young were affected more frequently, diarrhea was again prominent, fever was universally present, and the main presenting syndrome was community-acquired pneumonia. Lymphopenia and thrombocytopenia were common findings in all series of outbreaks and were prognostic indicators of ARDS and death. The case-fatality rate ranged from 64-80%. The incidence of asymptomatic or mild infection is unknown.

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