Bird Flu Alarm



Understanding Avian Influenza

Human Influenza Viruses versus Avian Influenza Viruses


Humans can be infected with influenza types A, B, and C. However, the only subtypes of influenza A virus that normally infect people are influenza A subtypes H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2. Between 1957 and 1968, H2N2 viruses also circulated among people, but currently do not.

Only influenza A viruses infect birds. Wild birds are the natural host for all subtypes of influenza A virus. Typically wild birds do not get sick when they are infected with influenza virus. However, domestic poultry, such as turkeys and chickens, can get very sick and die from avian influenza, and some avian viruses also can cause serious disease and death in wild birds.

Understanding Avian Influenza