Bird Flu Basics

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Avian influenza (Avian flu and Bird flu) is an infectious disease (influenza) of birds caused by different subtypes of influenza A virus. Transmission is through direct contact with the infected birds’ discharges from like feces and respiratory secretions.
Contrary to some people’s perception, avian flu does not pose food safety risks. There is a low risk in acquiring avian influenza from eating poultry products, like meat and eggs. Direct contact with the infected birds remains to be the main risk factor in disease transmission.
Proper handling is important when in direct contact with birds suspected of having avian flu since it causes serious illness and death in humans. When not prevented, cases of bird flu may cause epidemics (even pandemic) and chicken deaths which will greatly affect the poultry business.


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