Bird flu is caused by a certain influenza type A virus. The virus is common among wild and domestic birds. It rarely infects humans. Sometimes the virus can mutate (change). This allows it to infect humans.
The virus is passed through contact with an infected bird's:
Saliva or blood
People do not get bird flu from eating well-cooked poultry or eggs. The virus rarely passes from one human to another. When it does, it is usually a weak version of the virus.
Things that raise the risk of bird flu are:
Close contact with infected poultry (wild or domestic ducks, geese, chickens, or turkeys)
Recent travel to an area where there are bird flu outbreaks, such as:
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