Understanding Avian Flu
What is avian flu?
Avian flu is a viral disease caused by influenza A viruses, which belong to the Orthomyxoviridae family.
Avian influenza viruses have a natural tendency to spread among various species of wild aquatic birds and can infect not only domestic poultry but also other bird species and animals.
Can humans get avian flu?
Yes, humans can contract avian flu, although it is relatively rare.
According to data from the World Health Organization, there have been 868 cases of human infection with the avian flu A (H5N1) virus around the world since January 2003. Of these cases, 457 were fatal.
Does avian flu affect garden birds?
The RSPB says that garden birds currently appear relatively unaffected by avian flu.
While the risk of avian flu in garden birds is generally low, it is always recommended to maintain good hygiene practices when handling or feeding any type of bird to minimise the potential spread of diseases.
Can dogs get avian flu?
Yes, dogs can potentially get avian flu, although it is relatively uncommon.
Cases of avian flu viruses in dogs usually occur when dogs come into close contact with infected birds or their contaminated environments. Dogs may also become infected if they eat sick or dead infected birds.