Avian Influenza (H5N1)

Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses

From 2003 through 5 May 2014, 665 laboratory-confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection have been officially reported to WHO from 15 countries. Of these cases, 392 have died. 

Since the last WHO Influenza at the Human-Animal Interface update on 24 March 2014, one new laboratory-confirmed human cases of influenza A(H5N1) virus infection was reported to WHO from Indonesia in a 2-y-old boy from Central Java. In the weeks before disease onset of the child some backyard chickens died around the house. Although this is the first human case of H5N1 reported in 2014 from Indonesia, it is not unexpected as influenza A(H5N1) virus is known to be still circulating in poultry. 

Avian influenza, or “bird flu”, is a contagious disease of animals caused by viruses that normally infect only birds and, less commonly, pigs. Avian influenza viruses are highly species-specific, but have, on rare occasions, crossed the species barrier to infect humans.

In domestic poultry, infection with avian influenza viruses causes two main forms of disease, distinguished by low and high extremes of virulence.




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