Different strains of the virus may infect various type of animals. These animals include including birds, pigs, horses, seals, whales. It is even known that the virus could reach humans in mass. Avian influenza quickly spreads in the air and in manure. Contaminated feed, water, equipment and clothing can also increase transmission. There is no proof at the moment that the virus can survive in well cooked meat. The incubation period for Bird Flu is 3 to 5 days. Symptoms vary among animals. Virulent strains of the H5N1 virus can cause death within a few days.
Humans are affected with similar symptoms as other types of flu. Symptoms such as: – Fever – Cough – Sore throat – Muscle aches – Conjunctivitis In extreme cases, severe breathing problems and pneumonia can result which can be fatal. The result and the extremity of the infection will depend on the state of the infected person’s immune system. Somtimes a victim will have been exposed to the strain before, and will be in part immune to the virus.
It’s important to Note that victims will not experience the flu like symptoms all of the time. An example is a boy who experienced diarrhea and then rapidly went into a coma without developing the respiratory or flu-like symptoms. This situation suggests non-standard symptoms.