Bird Flu Information
Bird flu (also called avian influenza or avian flu) is a highly contagious infection caused by avian flu viruses. Though these viruses are typically found only in birds, rare cases of human infection have been reported. A wide range of symptoms may occur in humans with bird flu. Some of the reported symptoms have included:
- Typical influenza-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches)
- Eye infections (conjunctivitis)
- Acute respiratory distress
- Viral pneumonia.
Bird flu poses two main risks to human health. The first is the risk of direct infection when the virus passes from the infected bird to humans, sometimes resulting in severe disease. The greater concern, however, is that given enough opportunities, the bird flu will change into a form that is highly infectious for humans and that spreads easily from person to person. A pandemic flu outbreak could occur if this happens.
(For more detailed information, click Bird Flu. Topics covered in this full-length article include how the virus is transmitted to humans, the development of a vaccine, and the different types.)