Bird Flu TERMINOLOGY
Avian influenza *bird flu)(AI)–the bird flu–is a virus that infects wild birds (such as ducks, gulls, and shorebirds) and domestic poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese). There is flu for birds just as there is for humans and, as with people, some forms of the flu in birds are worse than others.
AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: the hemagglutinin or H proteins, of which there are 16 (H1-H16), and neuraminidase or N proteins, of which there are 9 (N1-N9).
Pathogenicity of Bird Flu: the ability of the bird flu virus to produce disease. AI strains also are divided into two groups based upon the ability of the virus to produce disease: low pathogenic (LP) and highly pathogenic (HP).
Low Pathogenic or “low path” avian influenza (bird flu) (LPAI): LPAI occurs naturally in wild birds and can spread to domestic birds. In most cases it causes no signs of infection or only minor symptoms in birds. These strains of the disease pose little significant threat to human health. These strains are common in the U.S. and around the world.
Highly Pathogenic or “high path” avian influenza (HPAI): HPAI is often fatal in chickens and turkeys. HPAI spreads rapidly and has a high death rate in birds than LPAI. HPAI has been detected and eradicated three times in U.S. domestic poultry. HPAI H5N1 is the subtype rapidly spreading in some parts of the world.Bird Flu Pandemic