Nickname: Bird flu virus
Signs & Symptoms: Avian flu is a serious illness with fever, body aches, and respiratory symptoms that may last for five to seven days. Recovery from avian flu may take many weeks.
Spread: Wild birds can carry this virus without being sick but are very contagious to chickens, ducks and turkeys, making them sick and killing many of them. Human-to-human spread of avian flu has not occurred so far, but could occur anytime and result in a pandemic (worldwide disease outbreak).
Who is at risk: Avian flu viruses do not usually infect humans, but over 100 cases have occurred since 1997 and nearly half of those infected have died. All of the human cases involved close contact with infected birds.
Prevention: Cook poultry to 160 degrees; use good kitchen hygiene and food-handling practices, use good handwashing and cough/sneeze etiquette.