Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

Question:

Please describe your experience with bird flu symptoms Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Jen, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

I lived on Maui and I strongly believe I had bird flu. It started after the island had an earthquake. In the next few days I became sick. For two days I was vomiting and had a fever. The throwing up stopped because I had nothing to throw up anymore. After that I had body aches, chills, and jaw clenching, I was literally chewing on a wet wash cloth. I was coughing on and on and could not sleep lying down until I was so exhausted I would pass out. I was very weak, I could not eat solid foods; I tried, I just couldn't. I literally survived on water and those emergency mix packets. I was sick for over a week and went to a walk-in clinic, no insurance, so they told me take NyQuil and I should be getting better. I tried to tell them I was dying, I'd never felt like this in my life. They just ignored me. I was ready to be admitted to a hospital just to get IV fluids, something was just wrong! Another week went by and I was not improving, I was getting worse. When I would breathe I could hear and feel my lungs popping and I thought pneumonia! I went back to the clinic and they saw I was not improving and listened to my lungs and oxygen saturation was way low! They gave me an inhaler and said to take Mucinex! I coughed up fluid and what not for at least another 2 weeks. I was so weak, was able to eat soup, but not much else. I had lost 20 pounds in the month and a half I was sick. It was awful, and the whole time no one believed I was that sick! I thought I was going to die!

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Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease

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Van Kerkhove, M.D., E. Mumford, A.W. Mounts, J. Bresee, S. Ly, C.B. Bridges, and J. Otte. "Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1): Pathways of Exposure at the Animal-Human Interface, a Systematic Review." PLoS One 6.1 Jan. 24, 2011: e14582.

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