Virus Home > Symptoms of Bird Flu

In humans, signs and symptoms of bird flu can include typical influenza-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. Less severe symptoms can also include eye infections. Potentially life-threatening symptoms of the disease include acute respiratory distress, viral pneumonia, and more.

Symptoms of Bird Flu: An Overview

Bird flu (also called avian influenza) is an infection caused by bird flu viruses. These flu viruses occur naturally among birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the viruses in their intestines, but usually do not get sick from them. However, bird flu is highly contagious among birds and can make some domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys, very sick and even kill them. To date, transmission of bird flu to humans has rarely occurred.
 

Bird Flu Symptoms in Birds

Infection with bird flu in domestic poultry causes two main forms of the disease that are distinguished by low and high extremes of virulence. The "low pathogenic" form may go undetected and usually causes only mild symptoms of bird flu, which may include ruffled feathers and a drop in egg production. The highly pathogenic form of bird flu spreads more rapidly through flocks of poultry. This form may cause disease that affects multiple internal organs, and it has a mortality rate that can reach 90 percent to 100 percent, often within 48 hours.
 

Symptoms of Bird Flu in Humans

Bird flu symptoms in humans can include typical influenza-like symptoms, such as:
 
 
Less severe symptoms can also include eye infections (conjunctivitis).
 
More serious symptoms of bird flu include:
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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