How bird flu spreads to humans
Bird flu is spread through direct contact with infected birds (dead or alive), an infected bird's droppings, or secretions fromtheir eyes or respiratory tract.
Close and prolonged contact with an infected bird is generally required for the infection to spread to humans. For example:
- touching infected birds that are dead or alive
- inhaling or being in contact with dried dust from the droppings or bedding of infected birds
- inhaling or being in contact with droplets sneezed by infected birds
- culling, slaughtering, butchering or preparing infected poultry for cooking
Another possible source of bird flu can be live markets, where birds are sold in crowded and sometimes unsanitary conditions. Avoid visiting these markets if you're travelling in countries that have had an outbreak of bird flu.
Bird flu isn't transmitted through cooked food. Poultry and eggs are safe to eat in areas that have experienced outbreaks of bird flu.