Avian flu, also known as bird flu or H5N1, is a type of virus which is predominantly spread among birds but can affect humans in rare cases. However, some types of bird flu are completely harmless to humans. The types which do infect are spread to humans by direct contact with dead or alive infected birds. It can also be spread by:
- Inhaling dried dust from bird droppings infected with the disease
- Inhaling sneezed droplets from infected birds
- Slaughtering or preparing infected birds for cooking
Although the infection is not generally caught from another person, there have been some cases of person to person transmission. The symptoms are similar to that of more common types of flu and include respiratory symptoms, coughing and a runny nose, headaches, diarrhoea, vomiting and chest pain. Other reported symptoms include nosebleeds and gum bleeding but these may be rare. A failure to diagnose avian flu can result in complications. Respiratory distress syndrome can develop and multiple organ failure can develop in severe cases that have had a delay in diagnosis.
Diagnosis and treatment
Bird flu is not normally the initial diagnosis as it is rare in humans. However, if you have been in close proximity to birds who may have been infected or have visited a country where there has been a recent outbreak, your doctor should consider bird flu and treat you accordingly. It is recommended that people with avian flu are isolated to prevent an outbreak, either by staying at home or by isolation in a hospital ward. Rest, plenty of fluids and medication to treat fever and pain are also recommended. There are also antiviral medications available. If there is a failure to diagnose avian flu, complications may occur. Should there be evidence of negligence and your illness was allowed to progress, you may be able to win a cash payout.
Filing a compensation claim
Our team at Accident Advice Helpline are experts in helping victims of medical negligence to claim the compensation they deserve. Where there is evidence of medical negligence and your illness became worse, you may be able to win a cash sum to help you cope with your suffering and any financial difficulties associated with the illness. Call our 24-hour helpline on 0800 689 0500 for no-obligation advice or to begin making your claim straight away. Our no win, no fee* policy ensures you won’t be out of pocket claiming with us.