Are the symptoms of avian flu different from seasonal flu?
The basic symptoms are similar, but the progression from “a bad cold” to a debilitating illness occurs rapidly (within days). At that point, the patients are too ill to care for themselves and need to be hospitalized. This rarely happens with seasonal flu except in infants and the elderly. Q: How is flu diagnosed? How do doctors know when it’s avian flu? A: The initial diagnosis is based on symptoms like those above and the awareness that flu is circulating in the community. Doctors are not able to determine whether the symptoms are caused by influenza virus without specific tests such as a viral culture test or rapid identification test. However during periods of known influenza virus circulation, a large fraction of patients with these symptoms are presumed to have influenza. Q: How can we prevent the flu? A: Don’t get infected – which means closely following healthcare and government instructions. Personal safety includes good cough and sneeze hygiene on everyone’s part. Hand-washin