CDC issues clinician recommendations for testing, treating bird flu

The CDC in an April 29 health advisory issued recommendations on testing and treating (A)H5N1 bird flu for clinicians and public health workers. 

The agency released the guidance a day after it confirmed a Colorado man tested positive for an H5 bird flu virus, making it the nation's first such case. 

The CDC said clinicians should consider the possibility of an H5N1 infection if patients who have been exposed to potentially infected birds show signs or symptoms of respiratory illness. Clinicians should contact their state public health departments to arrange testing and collect specimens using personal protective equipment. 

Exposed patients who develop flu-like symptoms should be treated with oseltamivir, zanamivir or baloxavir as soon as possible, the guidance said. 

"Clinical benefit is greatest when antiviral treatment is administered early, especially within 48 hours of illness onset," the CDC said. 

For hospitalized patients, the agency said oral or enteral oseltamivir should be administered as soon as possible, regardless of time since illness onset. 

To view the full recommendations, click here.

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