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Bird flu virus

Avian influenza is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These bird flu viruses occur 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.

There are many different subtypes of type A influenza viruses. These subtypes differ because of changes in certain proteins on the surface of the influenza A virus (hemagglutinin [HA] and neuraminidase [NA] proteins). There are 16 known HA subtypes and 9 known NA subtypes of influenza A viruses. Many different combinations of HA and NA proteins are possible. Each combination represents a different subtype. All known subtypes of influenza A viruses can be found in birds.

Usually, "bird flu virus" or “avian influenza virus” refers to influenza A viruses found chiefly in birds, but infections with these viruses can occur in humans. The risk from avian influenza is generally low to most people, because the viruses do not usually infect humans.

However, confirmed cases of human infection from several subtypes 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) or surfaces contaminated with secretion/excretions from infected birds. The spread of bird flu viruses from one ill person to another has been reported very rarely, and has been limited, inefficient and unsustained.

“Human influenza virus” usually refers to those subtypes that spread widely among humans. There are only three known A subtypes of influenza viruses (H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2) currently circulating among humans. It is likely that some genetic parts of current human influenza A viruses came from birds originally. Influenza A viruses are constantly changing, and they might adapt over time to infect and spread among humans.

During an outbreak of bird flu among poultry, there is a possible risk to people who have contact with infected birds or surfaces that have been contaminated with secretions or excretions from infected birds. It is only if the birf flu virus mutates to become contagious amongst humans that it could spread easily between the populations of the world, and that is the potential global bird flu pandemic that is worrying so many health agencies around the world.

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bird flu virus - Google News
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Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn - New York Times Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:41:34 GMT

New York Times

Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn
New York Times
While trying to avoid alarmism, global health agencies are steadily ratcheting up concern about bird flu in Asia. Bird viruses that can infect humans — particularly those of the H7N9 strain — continue to spread to new cities there. Since October 2016 ...

South Korea confirms H5N6 bird flu at duck farm - Channel NewsAsia Sun, 19 Nov 2017 14:56:44 GMT

Channel NewsAsia

South Korea confirms H5N6 bird flu at duck farm
Channel NewsAsia
SEOUL: South Korea on Sunday (Nov 19) said it had confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu at a duck farm in the south west of the country and raised its bird flu alert level to the highest ranking. The virus was discovered on a farm on ...
H5N6 sickens Chinese man, strikes duck farm in South KoreaCIDRAP
Highly pathogenic bird flu found in wild bird droppingsThe Korea Herald
(LEAD) Suspected bird flu case confirmed to be highly pathogenicYonhap News
Alive For Football
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Why experts are quietly concerned about bird flu - Axios - Axios Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:59:23 GMT

Axios

Why experts are quietly concerned about bird flu - Axios
Axios
Global health officials are quietly ratcheting up concern about H7N9 bird flu, per the New York Times. "The number of human infections reported in [this ...

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Bird flu virus detected in Gochang - The Korea Times - Korea Times Sat, 18 Nov 2017 07:53:09 GMT

Korea Times

Bird flu virus detected in Gochang - The Korea Times
Korea Times
The South Korean government said Saturday the avian influenza (AI) virus has been detected at a poultry farm operated by a local conglomerate located in the ...
Bird flu virus detected in Gochangkoreatimes (press release)
Fresh outbreak of bird flu detected in South KoreaThe News Minute

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Could Your Cat Give You 'Bird Flu?' | Health Care | US News - U.S. News & World Report Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:39:14 GMT

Could Your Cat Give You 'Bird Flu?' | Health Care | US News
U.S. News & World Report
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. scientists are reporting a case of a veterinarian who apparently caught "bird flu" from an infected cat at a ...

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Bulgaria reports two more outbreaks of virulent bird flu - Reuters Sun, 05 Nov 2017 19:21:26 GMT

News-Medical.net

Bulgaria reports two more outbreaks of virulent bird flu
Reuters
SOFIA (Reuters) - A virulent bird flu virus has spread to two more regions in Bulgaria prompting veterinary authorities to announce a cull of nearly 8,000 ducks, the Balkan country's food safety agency said on Sunday. “A total of four outbreaks of bird ...
Bulgaria reports outbreaks of bird flu (avian influenza)News-Medical.net

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Bulgaria reports two outbreaks of H5 bird flu: OIE - Reuters Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:42:28 GMT

Bulgaria reports two outbreaks of H5 bird flu: OIE
Reuters
PARIS (Reuters) - Bulgaria has reported two outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5 bird flu virus, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Monday. One outbreak occurred on a farm in the village of Stefanovo in the northeastern ...

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Lincoln biotech firms develop first licensed bird flu DNA vaccine for chickens - Lincoln Journal Star Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:10:57 GMT

Lincoln Journal Star

Lincoln biotech firms develop first licensed bird flu DNA vaccine for chickens
Lincoln Journal Star
Avian flu is a direct threat to the poultry industry, and an indirect threat to the human population, where a mutant flu virus could lead to a devastating epidemic,” said Dr. Tim Miller, chief scientific officer for AgriLabs. “The ability to ...

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Avian flu outbreak clips KFC's Zinger wings | IOL News - Independent Online Mon, 06 Nov 2017 04:53:46 GMT

Independent Online

Avian flu outbreak clips KFC's Zinger wings | IOL News
Independent Online
If you have been unable to get your Zinger or Dunked wing fix from some KFC stores, the outbreak of the H5N8 strain of the bird flu virus is to blame.

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EFSA says wild birds spread avian flu to EU member states - Food Safety News Thu, 26 Oct 2017 05:43:48 GMT

Food Safety News

EFSA says wild birds spread avian flu to EU member states
Food Safety News
Unlike in humans, the virus poses a huge threat to commercial and backyard bird flocks. Two years ago avian flu subtype H5N2 burned through commercial poultry and backyard flocks in the United States, requiring the destruction of 49 million domestic ...

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