Bird Flu

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Question

How are people treated for bird flu? Is a vaccine available to prevent a person from catching it?

Answer

Different types of antiviral prescription medications are expected to be helpful for the preventionand treatment of bird flu (also called avian influenza or avian flu). Two of these drugs are Tamiflu« (oseltamivir) and Relenza« (zanamivir). According to the World Health Organization, these drugs have been shown in laboratory studies to reduce the severity and duration of seasonal influenza. It is believed they may lessen the severity of bird flu and increase the chance of survival. A key factor to their effectiveness is how quickly the patient receives the medications after symptoms appear.

Currently, no vaccine is available to prevent bird flu.

Learn more about avian influenza in the Health Encyclopedia.

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