News - CTV.ca | Doctors say speed the key in treating bird flu
Researchers studying bird flu survivors in Indonesia think the virus might be far more treatable than initially believed.
Eight-year-old Firdaus Baskara is a case in point.
Authorities quarantined him last month after his parents noticed he was coughing and had a fever. Then they learned his aunt had tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
She died, her condition going rapidly from typical flu symptoms to pneumonia.
Once the pneumonia strikes, bird flu victims can die within three days. Doctors have learned the virus zeroes in on lung tissue, causing the lungs to fill with mucous and blood and drowning the victim.
"With the bird flu, pneumonia quickly develops. It can be very lethal," said Dr. Ilham Patu of the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital in Jakarta.
CTV.ca Doctors say speed the key in treating bird flu