UFO Digest Public Service Message
Influenza Information Sheet
NORAD-USNORTHCOM Surgeon General
Avian Influenza (H5N1) a.k.a.
(AI) “bird flu” is caused by influenza type A viruses.
H5N1 is the subtype currently
circulating. H5N1 can be highly pathogenic (HPAI) or of low pathogenicity
(LPAI); HPAI is the type infecting and killing humans. AI occurs naturally
among birds worldwide. Wild birds are often carriers, but do not usually become
AI spreads easily among birds and can sicken and kill some domesticated birds
(e.g. chickens, ducks, and turkeys). AI viruses do not usually infect humans,
though nearly 250 WHO confirmed cases of human infection with the H5N1 virus
have occurred since 2003. AI viruses are constantly mutating and might adapt
over time to infect and spread among humans.
These WHO confirmed human AI cases have occurred in ten countries: Azerbaijan,
Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey and
No human cases have been
identified in the United States.
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