ESPV- ONE HEALTH

Avian influenza

Avian influenza

Fact sheet
Updated March 2014


Key facts

  • Avian influenza (AI), commonly called bird flu, is an infectious viral disease of birds.
  • Most avian influenza viruses do not infect humans; however some, such as A(H5N1) and A(H7N9), have caused serious infections in people.
  • Outbreaks of AI in poultry may raise global public health concerns due to their effect on poultry populations, their potential to cause serious disease in people, and their pandemic potential.
  • Reports of highly pathogenic AI epidemics in poultry, such as A(H5N1), can seriously impact local and global economies and international trade.
  • The majority of human cases of A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) infection have been associated with direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry. There is no evidence that the disease can be spread to people through properly cooked food.
  • Controlling the disease in animals is the first step in decreasing risks to humans.

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