Bird Flu

First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • This chapter will deal primarily with human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus.
  • Classic presentation of avian influenza (AI): teenager with severe pneumonia that progresses rapidly to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Risk factor for AI is handling of sick poultry within a week of illness onset, although AI has been reported in areas without a known population of affected poultry.
  • Human-to-human transmission of AI is rare.
    • Use full barrier precautions (standard, contact, airborne, and eye protection) for patients with suspected or confirmed AI (H5N1).
  • N95 mask has a tight fit.
  • Consider higher level of respiratory protection, such as powered air-purifying respirator, for procedures with significant aerosol generation such as tracheal intubation.
  • Contact local public health officials if you suspect the diagnosis.

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Last updated: May 11, 2010