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Bird Flu (cont.)

Bird Flu Prognosis

The prognosis (outcomes) for bird flu continues to be poor with the death rate reaching about 60%. Although only about 16 infections with six deaths have been reported with N7H9 strain of bird flu, there is reason to believe it, too, could have a high death rate.

Prevention (see above) is the key to a good outcome. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the CDC have banned the import of certain birds from many Asian countries affected by the H5N1 virus strain because of the potential that infected birds could infect humans. This ban includes both live and dead birds and their eggs. This ban is likely to be modified to include H7N9.

Although it is possible that highly pathogenic bird flu may mutate and spread widely to people, it is encouraging that this has not happened in the 16 years since the first human case was identified. The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor public-health reports for clusters of people with symptoms that might suggest a flu virus is moving from human to human (and not just from birds to humans).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/31/2015

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