Avian influenza or “bird flu” is a disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. It can affect all species of birds, some other animals (e.g. cats, horses) and can very rarely infect humans. Only the virus types of the H5 and H7 types are known to cause the highly pathogenic (HPAI) form of the disease. The most well-known example is the avian influenza subtype H5N1 viruses currently circulating in poultry in parts of Asia and northeast Africa, which have caused human disease and deaths since 1997. Other avian influenza subtypes, including H7N9 and H9N2, have also infected people. Some of these infections have been very severe and some have resulted in deaths, but many infections have been mild or even without symptoms in humans.
For queries relating to dead birds please contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine