Avian flu is a viral disease and it can be very contagious and
even deadly in poultry (e.g., chickens). Of great concern are
the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses
that have killed millions of birds and have infected humans
in other countries. If these viruses are found in the U.S.,
take appropriate precautions if you are involved in poultry
Signs of Avian Flu Illness in Birds
Sudden death, lack of energy, appetite, and coordination,
purple discoloration and/or swelling of various body parts,
diarrhea, nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, and reduced
egg production and/or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs.
Avian Flu Symptoms in Humans
Range from fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches;
to diarrhea, eye infections, pneumonia and severe respiratory
diseases. The symptoms may depend on which virus
caused the infection but are often similar to those of human
When Engaged in Eradication Activities
• Clean your hands often and thoroughly, preferably using
soap and water for 15-20 seconds (or a waterless, alcoholbased
hand rub when soap is not available), especially if
you are handling poultry or poultry products.
• Wear lightweight, disposable gloves or heavy-duty rubber
work gloves that can be disinfected. Avoid touching your
face with gloved hands.
• Wear disposable outer garments, coveralls or surgical
gowns with long, cuffed sleeves and with a sealed apron.
• Wear disposable shoe covers or boots that can be cleaned
• Wear safety goggles and disposable head or hair cover.
• Wear at least the minimum level of respiratory protection,
N95 or higher respirator.
• Avoid eating, drinking, smoking and bathroom use while
wearing personal protective equipment.
• Get the seasonal flu vaccine.
• Have your health care provider prescribe an adequate
supply of antivirals during poultry destruction activities
and for 5 days after it ends.
• If you develop flu-like symptoms, stay at home except to
get medical attention