Health Library

Avian Influenza Center

General Overview

Avian influenza is a strain of influenza (sometimes called “the flu”) that infects birds. Although there have been few cases of human illness, some health experts are concerned that the virus could become more efficient at infecting humans and could eventually cause a pandemic of this disease. More

Preventing the Avian Flu

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The avian flu vaccine

What’s the current status of the avian flu vaccine?

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Besides a shot: other ways to fight the flu

Although there is no vaccine for the avian flu yet, and supplies of the "regular" flu vaccine are limited, there are other ways you can lower your risk of contracting the flu.

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How to wash your hands properly

While there may be little that we can do to prevent the avian flu from mutating and spreading between humans, one way to reduce your chance of contracting this infection—should a human outbreak occur—is through proper handwashing.


Special Topics

Risk of bird flu for international travelers

While we in the western hemisphere have little cause for concern (as yet), Americans traveling abroad may be at risk of contracting bird flu. Read more about what and where this virus is, how risky it is, and how to avoid it if you are traveling in its midsts.

Is it a cold? Or is it the flu? And what do you do?

The cold and the flu have many of the same symptoms. Before you self-diagnose yourself with a cold or flu, step back, and really consider your symptoms. Read here to learn more, including when you should call your doctor.


The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
US Department of Labor
The World Health Organization

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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