Treatment of avian influenza (H5N1).Treatment for H5N1 avian influenza is aimed at relieving symptoms and helping the immune system fight the infection. Depending on the severityof the patient's condition, treatment may include:AntibioticsAntibiotics do not work against viruses, but can be used to control or prevent secondary bacterial infections that may occur during the illness.Antiviral agentsAntiviral drugs, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza), can be used to treat H5N1. They are most effective if treatment is started within 48 hours of the first symptoms.Symptomatic treatmentThis includes treating symptoms such as fever, pain and cough. Antipyretics and painkillers can help relieve symptoms.Oxygen therapyPatients with severe respiratory symptoms may require oxygen therapy.Nutritional supportSticking to adequate nutrition and hydration is important to support theimmune system and relieve symptoms of illness.Remember that H5N1 is a serious disease that can lead to severe complications and requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect you have bird flu, see your doctor or appropriate health center immediately.It is important to remember that the best defense against avian influenza is prevention, including hygiene practices, avoidance of exposed poultry and wild birds, and monitoring of local and global information on avian influenza.