Avian influenza, popularly known as “bird flu”, is a disease primarily found in poultry and wild birds.
What is the Department of the Interior's responsibility in investigating and handling avian influenza issues?
DOI is responsible for managing and protecting wildlife, including migratory birds, under various laws and treaties, and for protecting public health on more than 500 million acres of land that it manages across the country.To carry out t
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS is the scientific arm of the Department and has a long history of responding to wildlife disease emergencies and conducting wildlife disease investigations.
The highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5N1 strain of avian influenza has not been detected in the United States or anywhere in North America.
Avian influenza viruses are common in North American waterfowl and shorebirds, but most strains found in wild birds are not highly pathogenic (able to produce disease) and do not lead to severe illness in the infected birds.
Although H5N1 does not usually infect humans, nearly 600 cases of human cases of H5N1 have been reported from 15 countries since 2003.
There are no documented cases of humans contracting highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 from wild birds.
As a general rule, people should observe wildlife, including wild birds, from a distance. This protects people from possible exposure to diseases and minimizes disturbance to the animal.Avoid touching wildlife.
USGS has an online map showing current information on outbreaks of avian influenza (strain H5N1).Learn more:
The designation of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) refers to the potential for these viruses produce disease.
- 1 of 2
- next ›