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A UFO Digest Public Service Message

Avian Flu Update:

Avian Influenza Information Sheet


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 ill.

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 Vietnam. 

No human cases have been identified in the United States.


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