Article Text

  1. A Bajraktarevic1,
  2. S Trninic1,
  3. S Putica1,
  4. S Korac2,
  5. E Brigic3,
  6. I Selmanagic3,
  7. M Hamamdzic3,
  8. L Sporisevic4,
  9. B Vranic5
  1. 1Department for Children, Public Health Institution of Canton Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  2. 2General Hospital, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  3. 3Pediatrics Clinic, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  4. 4First Medical Aid, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  5. 5Infectious Clinic, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina


Influenza viral infections cause a broad array of respiratory illnesses. In children, avian viruses cause similar symptoms to other types of flu. Avian influenza, an infectious disease of birds, is caused by the type A strain of the influenza virus. Avian influenza viruses are mainly distributed by migratory birds. It is crucial to develop virologic surveillance programs for animal and human influenza, to limit the spread of the virus from infected poultry, and to develop efficacious vaccines by exploiting novel technologies such as reverse genetics. Currently, the primary treatment option is the flu drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), a neuraminidase inhibitor that works by preventing the virus from escaping its host cell. Another antiviral flu drug, zanamavir (Relenza), may be an alternative. This article discusses current methods of identifying and treating the illness in children, and outlines principles of public health measures for preventing and containing influenza pandemic in Europe. Because no natural immunity to the new strain exists, it can spread quickly, causing widespread illness and death. The virus is especially lethal, killing close to 100 percent of susceptible birds and more than half of infected people and children. But the greatest complication of bird flu is still hypothetical: that it spreads easily from person to person. Two groups at risk for developing complications or requiring hospitalization if they get the flu are adults over sixty five and children between 6 months and two years.

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