No one can deny the dangers associated with influenza viruses. As viruses spread from wild animal populations to domesticated and farm animals, the risks of these diseases spreading from animals to humans (so-called zoonosis) becomes greater. Avian Influenza (bird flu) viruses are found in wild bird populations throughout the United States. Wild birds are hosts to the disease. The threat to people occurs when the disease affects poultry and spreads further because of contamination and human contact with the virus.
Two Groups of Avian Influenza Viruses
Avian influenza viruses are divided into two groups. Those groups distinguish the severity of the disease.
- Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) is the less severe form of the virus.
- Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is far mor