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You are here: Home / Microbes / Species Profiles / Avian Influenza
Species Profiles

Avian Influenza

Avian fluScientific name: Orthomyxoviridae, Influenza Type A (CABI)

Common names: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), fowl plague

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Selected Resources

Native To: First noted in Italy in 1878 (Global Invasive Species Database 2005)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Since mid-Dec 2014, there have been several ongoing highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 incidents along the Pacific, Central and Mississippi Flyways. Cases in wild birds, captive wild birds, backyard poultry or commercial poultry have been reported in various states (Jhung and Nelson 2015).

Means of Introduction: APHIS concludes that at present, there is not substantial or significant enough evidence to point to a specific pathway or pathways for the current spread of the virus. APHIS scientists believe wild birds were responsible for introducing HPAI into commercial poultry. However, given the number and proximity of farms affected by HPAI, it appears the virus is spreading in other ways as well (APHIS 2015).

Impact: Infects poultry, waterfowl, and some mammals (including humans) (CABI)

Current U.S. Distribution:

Global Distribution:



Selected Resources:

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Fact Sheets - Influenza (Avian and Other Zoonotic)
UN. World Health Organization.

Avian Influenza
UN. FAO. Animal Production and Health Division.

Avian Influenza Portal
World Organisation for Animal Health.

Global Invasive Species Database - Avian Influenza Virus (micro-organism)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Invasive Species Compendium - Avian Influenza
CAB International.

Federal Government

Avian Health - Avian Influenza Disease
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Avian Influenza
U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Avian Influenza
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Disease Information - Avian Influenza
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.
Provides news updates and other resources

Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases: General Field Procedures and Diseases of Birds - Viral Diseases: Chapter 22 - Avian Influenza (1999; PDF | 410 KB)
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.
See also: The complete field manual (Information and Technology Report 1999-001), a revised and expanded version of the 1988 Volume 1, Field Guide to Wildlife Diseases

Information on Avian Influenza
DHHS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

International Government

Notifiable Diseases - Avian Influenza (bird flu)
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Australia). Office of Biosecurity.

State Government

Animal Diseases - Avian Influenza
New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Avian Influenza and Wild Birds
Utah Department of Natural Resources. Division of Wildlife Resources.

Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) - Frequently Asked Questions About Bird Flu
New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Michigan Emerging Disease Issues - Avian Influenza
State of Michigan.

Wildlife Diseases - Avian Influenza
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Provides guidelines for hunters and individuals finding dead birds

Wildlife-Related Diseases - Avian Influenza
Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Provides facts about bird flu and wild birds, answers to common questions and links to more detailed information


Animal Disease Information - Avian Influenza
Iowa State University. Center for Food Security and Public Health.

EDIS - Avian Influenza in Poultry
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source Publication #PS38

Avian Influenza: An Internal Report for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (Feb 2006)
Ohio State University. College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


Avian Influenza - Frequently Asked Questions
American Veterinary Medicine Association.


CABI. Invasive Species Compendium. Avian influenza. CAB International. [Accessed Apr 4, 2015].

Global Invasive Species Database. 2005. Avian Influenza Virus (micro-organism). Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

Jhung, M.A., and D.I. Nelson. 2015. Outbreaks of avian influenza A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1) among birds — United States, December 2014–January 2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 64(4):111.

Lee, D., M.K. Torchetti, K. Winker, H.S. Ip, C. Song, and D.E. Swayne. 2015. Intercontinental spread of Asian-origin H5N8 to North America through Beringia by migratory birds. Journal of Virology 89(12):6521-6524.

APHIS. 2015. Epidemiologic and Other Analyses of HPAI-Affected Poultry Flocks (PDF | 752 KB). USDA. APHIS. Veterinary Services.

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Last Modified: Sep 03, 2018
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