Treatment of avian influenza A(H7N9)
Access information on how avian influenza A(H7N9) is diagnosed and how it is treated.
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How is avian influenza A(H7N9) diagnosed?
Avian influenza A(H7N9) is diagnosed through a patient's symptoms and laboratory testing.
The illness is usually diagnosed by collecting samples from patients who have severe respiratory and influenza symptoms. A swab from the nose or throat is taken during the first few days of illness. This swab is then sent to provincial laboratories for testing to identify the type of virus causing the infection.
Samples are sent to Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory for confirmatory testing of the specific influenza type.
How is avian influenza A(H7N9) treated?
Antiviral medications can be used to treat avian influenza A(H7N9). It is important that antiviral medications be taken as early as possible, ideally within 48 hours of getting sick. They can:
- reduce influenza symptoms
- shorten the length of illness
- potentially reduce serious complications
If you have a severe infection, you may need to be treated at a hospital's intensive care unit. You may need mechanical ventilation as well as other supportive care.
Antiviral medications do not provide immunity against the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
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