Avian flu is one of endemic disease that could spread fast to the whole world. So how to take avian influenza nursing care? First of all, let’s have a look at avian influenza definition before we are going to plan avian influenza nursing care.

Avian Influenza Definition

Avian influenza is flu infection in birds, but it can infect human who has weaked or no immune toward it. Virus that infect birds can mutates and infect human easily and start epidemic which mean it spreads to whole world. This virus infection is deathly , most of viruses are like H5N1. H5N1 virus can survive for long period of time, and its infection can transmit via direct contact with infected birds. The post infection birds still risky to transmit the virus through feces and saliva for 10 days.

The first case of avian influenza was in Hong Kong, 1997, then the virus transmit to whole Asia. In 2005 October, this virus had found in Turkey and Rumania. More than 161 people had been infected by A virus avian influenza. Most people called called it as “bird flu” or H5N1. Nowadays the mortality of this avian influenza about 50%. H7N7 avian influenza appear in Neitherland, it makes 89 people infected, and one person passed away. H9N2 infected 3 children in Asia and all of them recover well. The prognosis is depend on infection degree and certain avian flu virus types.


H5N1 virus infection. People who have this risk are:

  • Poultryman
  • Health care workers
  • People that consume uncooked avian meat
  • People that contact avian
  • Tourist that visit endemic country or area

Sign and Symptoms

Sign and symptoms of avian influenza in human depend on virus type. H5N1 virus, the infection is like common cold. Those sign and symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Productive or common cough
  • Fever more than 38 degree celcius
  • Runny nose
  • Hard to breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Complication like pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, sepcis, and organ failure.

According to CDC, the sign and symptoms are in this picture;

Avian Influenza Transmission

Avian Influenza Transmission
Pic: cdc.gov

Diagnosis Examination

Before we plan avian influenza nursing care, diagnosis examination is a recommendation to find the main problems of patients. Some of diagnosis examination that always be performed are as follows;

  1. Influenza A/H5 virus real-time RT-PCR Primer and Probe Set shows early result for 4 hours, whereas the longest test will spend 2-3 days
  2. Chest x-ray, nasopharingeal culuture, and blood differencial help ensure diagnosis.


  1. Antivirus medication like oseltamivir and zanamivir can decrease the severity of avian influenza, if those medicines are prescribed 48 hours after first sign and symptoms
  2. Oseltamivir can be prescribed for family around the patient as prevention medication
  3. Supportive treatment like ventilation, intravenous fluid therapy, and symptomatic can be done
  4. Patient with positive result of H5N1 infection should be isolated in a special room
  5. Nowadays, there is no vaccine that can handle avian influenza, but the vaccine for H5N1 is in pre-clinical progress
  6. Influenza injection should be administrated to decrease the possibility of mixture between human and avian virus that can create new virus.

Avian Influenza Nursing care

Then the avian influenza nursing care are here. The focus of avian influenza nursing care is to prevent the spreading of the virus, so nurses could do some of nursing care management as follows;

  1. Order patient to see doctor if he/she has avian influenza-like sign and symptoms in 10 day after contact with contaminated birds or avian
  2. Travelers should not visit a birds market in endemic area
  3. Poultryman must use special clothes and masker as prevention
  4. Tell patient to avoid uncooked avian meat
  5. Teach patient about how to washing hand and throwing tissue after using it
  6. Look and aware of complication sign and symptoms
  7. H5N1 sample from infected human is proved resistant in amantadine and rimantadine antivirus, so those medication cannot be used for H5N1 infection now.