Avian influenza (AI) is caused by an influenza type A virus that can infect poultry such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese, and guinea fowl. It is carried by wild waterfowl (ducks and geese) and shorebirds.
Avian Influenza (AI) type A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on the surface of the virus:
State and federal government experts continue to evaluate how Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) viruses can spread and impact wild and domestic birds.
Avian influenza (AI) viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or “H” proteins, of which there are 16 (H1 to H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are nine (N1 to N9).
The designation of low or highly pathogenic avian influenza refers to the potential for these viruses to kill chickens.
Although it is possible for domestic poultry to become infected with avian influenza from direct contact with wild birds, it is more likely that avian influenza viruses are spread indirectly to poultry on contaminated feed, clothing, and equi
While rare, human infections with avian influenza viruses have occurred.
To learn more about the impacts of avian influenza on wild birds and the role wild birds may play in the spread of the virus, experts from government agencies have gathered samples from hundreds of thousands of live-captured, apparently healt