Bird Flu Alarm

Treatment




Treatment varies, and is based on your symptoms.

In general, treatment with the antiviral medicine oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) may make the disease less severe. For the medicine to work, you need to start taking it within 48 hours after your symptoms start.

Oseltamivir may also be prescribed for people who live in the same house people with avian flu. This may prevent them from getting the illness.

The virus that causes human avian flu is resistant to the antiviral medicines amantadine and rimantadine. These medicines should not be used in the case of an H5N1 outbreak.

People with severe infection may need to be placed on a breathing machine. People infected with the virus also should be kept separate from non-infected people.

Providers recommend that people get an influenza (flu) shot. This may cut down the chance that the avian flu virus will mix with a human flu virus. This might create a new virus that may easily spread.