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Bird Flu (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

For any flu-like illness, call a doctor as soon as possible to see if an antiviral medication (for example, oseltamivir [Tamiflu]) should be taken. The medication may shorten the course of the illness or lessen the symptoms. Mention any contact with sick or dead poultry or recent travel to an area affected by bird flu. However, as stated by the CDC, "oseltamivir and zanamivir would probably work to treat influenza caused by H5N1 (bird flu) virus, but additional studies still are needed to be done to demonstrate their effectiveness."

For travelers to one of the affected countries where bird flu has been observed, see a doctor immediately if a respiratory illness with fever develops.

Most clinicians agree that people with diagnosed or even suspected bird flu usually require hospitalization.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/9/2013

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