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Avian Influenza

 

A pressing public health treat is the spread of Avian Influenza A (H5N1) – the Bird Flu virus.  The avian virus has developed into an epidemic in parts of Asia, the near East, and Africa. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the transmission of the virus between bird species is not expected to alleviate within the near future.  Humans can become infected with the virus through direct contact with infected birds, mainly poultry, and in rare cases, the virus has spread person-to-person.  If the virus mutates and human’s become a vector for transmission, there is potential for the virus to become a severe public health threat.  The human population has little to no natural immunity for the virus and it will be quite sometime until an effective antiviral vaccine can be developed and readily available.                     

The Michigan Department of Community Health has developed a comprehensive website on the bird flu.  Information includes preparation for the emergence of the bird flu in Michigan, a response plan if an emergence should occur, and how to report possible cases of bird flu infection in avian species. 

 

 

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