Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
How To Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
- Avian Influenza Fact Sheet: English | Spanish
- Avian Influenza - An In-Depth look
- Avian Influenza - Key Facts
- Influenza Pandemic FAQ
Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. These flu viruses occur naturally among birds. All birds are thought to be susceptible to infection with avian influenza, though some species are more resistant to infection than others. The disease, which was first identified in Italy more than 100 years ago, occurs worldwide.
Avian influenza viruses do not normally infect species other than birds and pigs. Although avian influenza A viruses usually do not infect humans, more than 100 confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza viruses have been reported since 1997. Most cases of avian influenza infection in humans are thought to have resulted from direct contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces. To date, there have been no cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) in the United States.
- Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Key Facts About Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus
- Avian Influenza and the Significance of Its Transmission to Humans
A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population, begins to cause serious illness and then spreads easily person-to-person worldwide.
Historically, the 20th century saw 3 pandemics of influenza:
- 1918 influenza pandemic caused at least 500,000 U.S. deaths and up to 40 million deaths worldwide
- 1957 influenza pandemic caused at least 70,000 U.S. deaths and 1-2 million deaths worldwide
- 1968 influenza pandemic caused about 34,000 U.S. deaths and 700,000 deaths worldwide