Use this client education handout to answer the following questions: What is bird flu? What are the signs of disease in birds? What are the signs of bird flu in humans? Why are some strains of bird flu cause for international concern?
Avian influenza or “bird flu” is a group of viral infections that occur naturally among birds. Some wild birds like waterfowl can carry influenza viruses in their intestines, but usually do not get sick from them. Infected birds shed flu virus in saliva, nasal secretions, and feces. Other birds may be easily infected when they come into direct contact with secretions from infected birds or when they are exposed to surfaces or materials contaminated with the virus such as dirt, cages, water, of food. Migratory birds are responsible for spreading bird flu virus among bird populations from country to country.