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Chickens at Shanghai Market

Avian Influenza

Reports of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza ("bird flu") have been in many newspaper accounts of late. It is a deadly disease that has emerged most recently in domestic poultry and humans in Southeast Asia. The most recent outbreak of this disease prior to the current Southeast Asian event that began in January, 2004, was in Hong Kong in 1997, where both people and poultry in live bird markets ("wet markets") were dying from Avian Influenza A Virus. This was also the first time that Avian Influenza Virus was shown to cause death in intermediate hosts, such as pigs. Since the outbreak began in Southeast Asia in 2004, additional domestic and wild animals have been identified carrying the Avian Influenza A Virus, including Asian farmed (domestic) ducks, free ranging ducks, a few species of migratory waterbirds/waterfowl, tigers in a zoological collection, and additional pigs.

The USGS' National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, has an Avian Influenza Team on staff that is gearing up for any chance of a possible bird flu outbreak/epidemic in the United States or its Trust Territories.

USGS Research Related to Avian Influenza

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Page Last Modified: 05-May-2016@11:52