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Current Concept on Bird Flu

Avian influenza (AI), as per World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), is defined as an infection of poultry caused by any influenza A virus of the H5 or H7 subtypes or by any influenza A virus with an intravenous pathogenicity index (IVPI) greater than 1.2 (or as an alternative at least 75% mortality) as described below. Avian influenza or bird flu refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses naturally spread among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred. The first known cases in humans were reported in 1997, when an outbreak of avian influenza A virus subtype H5N1 in poultry in Hong Kong led to severe illness in 18 people, one-third of whom died proved its zoonotic potential.