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Avian influenza

Avian influenza is a contagious viral disease in birds, which can lead to mortality amongst poultry of up to 100%.
Avian influenza has been described since 1880 and appears with sporadic outbreaks around the world. All bird species can be impacted by the disease but there are large variations in the various bird species’ sensitivity to the disease. Turkeys and hens are the most sensitive, whilst water fowl are generally more resistant. 

Contaminated birds release the virus via secretions from the respiratory passages as well as through the faeces. The infection is transferred via infected feed and drinking water. Water fowl comprise a large reservoir of the disease and higher frequencies of avian influenza in general have been proven along migration paths of water fowl. The infection can also be transferred passively via clothing, feed sacks, non-disinfected hatching eggs, tools, machinery, etc.
Under normal conditions, avian influenza does not pose any risk of infection for humans.  Large amounts of the virus are assumed to be released via faeces from influenza infected birds, just as the virus is released via the respiratory passages. There is no risk by eating correctly prepared poultry.