Here’s a look at some commonly asked questions about avian influenza, also known as bird flu, provided by the Centers for Disease Control. For more information, visit

What is avian influenza (bird flu)?

Avian influenza is very contagious among birds and can make some

domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys, very sick and kill them.

Do avian influenza viruses infect humans?

Bird flu viruses do not usually infect humans, but more than 170 confirmed cases of human infection with bird flu viruses have occurred since 1997.

How do people become infected with avian influenza viruses?

Most cases of avian influenza infection in humans have resulted from direct or close contact with infected poultry or

surfaces contaminated with secretions and excretions from infected birds.

What are the symptoms of avian influenza in humans?

Symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical human

influenza-like symptoms to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases and other severe and life-threatening complications.

i What precautions can hunters take to reduce the risk for infection when hunting birds in the United States?

Hunters should follow routine

precautions when handling game, including wild birds. The National Wildlife Health Center recommends that hunters: do not handle or eat sick game; wear rubber or disposable latex gloves while handling and cleaning game; wash hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand products if the hands are not visibly soiled; and

thoroughly clean knives, equipment and surfaces that come in contact with game, do not eat, drink or smoke while handling animals, and cook all game thoroughly.

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