Avian influenza (bird flu)
Sampathkumar, Priya Division of Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Last reviewed:September 2019
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- H5N1 avian influenza
- H7N9 avian influenza
- Transmission of avian influenza
- Avian influenza and the pandemic threat
- Vaccine prospects
- Research areas
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
An infectious viral disease primarily affecting fowl, with rare occurrences in humans. Avian influenza, also termed bird flu, is a viral disease caused by influenza A subtypes that primarily affect chickens, turkeys, migratory waterfowl, and other avian species. Avian influenza outbreaks in domesticated birds are of concern for several reasons, including (1) the potential for rapid spread and significant illness and death among poultry during outbreaks, (2) the economic impact and trade restrictions resulting from an avian influenza outbreak, and (3) the possibility that avian influenza A viruses could be transmitted to humans. Two avian influenza viruses that have been of significant concern are the avian influenza subtype H5N1 virus, which is circulating primarily in parts of Asia and Africa, and the subtype H7N9 virus, which has been limited to China. See also: Animal virus; Aves; Infectious disease; Influenza; Poultry production; Public health; Virus; Zoonoses
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