Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) is an influenza virus that occurs naturally among birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the viruses in their intestines, but usually do not get sick from them. However, avian influenza is very contagious among birds and can make some domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys, very sick and kill them. The risk to humans from avian influenza is generally low because the viruses occur mainly among birds and do not usually infect humans. However, more than 100 human cases of avian influenza infection have been reported since 1997. Most cases of avian influenza infection in humans have resulted from contact with infected poultry (e.g., domesticated chicken, ducks, and turkeys). The majority of reported cases in humans occurred in Asia; no human cases of avian influenza have ever been reported in the United States.
Links on this page: