People with bird flu may develop life-threatening complications, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Collapsed lung
  • Respiratory failure
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Heart problems

Although bird flu kills more than half the people it infects, the number of fatalities is still low because so few people have had bird flu. According to the World Health Organization, a few hundred people have died of bird flu since 2003.

In contrast, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that seasonal influenza is responsible for thousands of deaths each year in the United States alone.

Jan. 26, 2013

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