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Avian Influenza Current Situation

Situation by Type and Location

Wild Birds Worldwide

  • Avian influenza A viruses have been isolated from more than 100 different species of wild birds from around the world. Most of these viruses were low pathogenic avian influenza A viruses.
  • The majority of these wild birds have been aquatic birds, including gulls, terns, and shorebirds, or waterfowl such as ducks, geese and swans. These wild birds are considered reservoirs (hosts) for avian influenza A viruses.

Poultry Worldwide

  • Around the world, avian influenza A outbreaks occur among poultry from time to time.
  • Currently, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N1) virus is considered endemic among poultry in six countries (Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam). This means the virus is commonly found in poultry in those countries. Sporadic outbreaks have occurred among poultry in other countries.

Poultry in North America

  • Low pathogenic avian influenza A outbreaks occur among poultry from time to time in North America.
  • Since 1997, based on the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reporting criteria for avian influenza in commercial poultry, the United States has experienced one outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N2) virus in poultry that was restricted to one poultry farm.
  • See Past Outbreaks of Avian Influenza in North America for more information about low pathogenic outbreaks and one highly pathogenic outbreak in poultry.

Humans Worldwide

Humans in North America

  • Avian influenza A viruses in humans in North America have very rarely been identified.
  • Avian influenza A viruses have caused relatively mild to moderate illness in humans in North America.
  • No HPAI H5N1 viruses have ever been identified in humans, poultry, wild birds or other animals in the United States.
  • On January 8, 2014, the first case of a human infection with H5N1 in the Americas was reported in Canada.
  • See Past Outbreaks of Avian Influenza in North America for more information.

For U.S. Travelers to Other Countries

  • Currently, CDC does not recommend any travel restrictions to any of the countries affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in poultry or people.
  • CDC does recommend that travelers to countries with influenza A outbreaks in poultry or people observe the following:
    • Avoid visiting poultry farms, bird markets and other places where live poultry are raised, kept, or sold.
    • Avoid preparing or eating raw or undercooked poultry products.
    • Practice hygiene and cleanliness.
    • See a doctor if you become sick during or after travel.
  • See CDC Travelers’ Health for more information on influenza A (H7N9) and HPAI H5N1.
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