Avian influenza is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses.These influenza viruses
occur naturally among birds. Wild birds carry the virus inside their intestines, it is very contagious
among other birds and could easily infect domesticated birds and make them very ill or kill them.
The virus can be transmitted through the infected birds saliva, nasal secretions or excretions.
Infections in domestic poultry causes two main forms of disease. One is "low pathogenic" which
may go undetected and cause mild symptoms like loss of feathers and less egg production. The
other is "high pathogenic" which spreads more rapidly and may cause disease that may affect multiple
The risk from avian influenza is generally low to most people, because the viruses do not usually infect humans. But, confirmed cases of human infection from several subtypes of avian influenza infection, have been reported since 1997. It is likely that some genetic parts of current human influenza viruses came from birds originally, and influenza viruses are constantly changing.
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