Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, is an infectious disease of birds caused by the influenza A virus. A variety of influenza subtypes can be found in birds, especially water fowl and shore birds. Domestic poultry are vulnerable to infection and outbreaks can rapidly develop in flocks.
Avian influenza rarely infects humans and does not transmit easily between humans. Infection can range from mild illness to death. The epidemiology and virology of avian influenza viruses are continually monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to their pandemic potential.
Our guidance can be viewed below:
- Investigation and management of possible human cases of Avian Influenza A/H5N1, in returning travellers
- Investigation and management of possible human cases of avian influenza A/H7N9, in returning travellers
- Infection control advice for severe respiratory illness from novel or emerging pathogens - avian influenza and MERS-CoV
External guidance from Public Health England (PHE) on avian influenza can be read below:
For all infection prevention and control guidance visit the A-Z pathogens section of the National Infection and Prevention Control Manual.