India reported an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus on a poultry research farm in the northeastern state of Bihar, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said.

What is avian influenza?

  1. Avian Influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that affects both domestic and wild birds.
  2. Avian Influenza viruses have also been isolated, although less frequently, from mammalian species, including rats, mice, weasels, ferrets, pigs, cats, tigers, dogs and horses, as well as from humans.
  3. Circulation of avian influenza viruses is not a new phenomenon. There are many descriptions of historical outbreaks of avian influenza disseminating within domestic poultry flocks in the literature.
  4. AI occurs worldwide and different strains are more prevalent in certain areas of the world than others.
  5. There are many AI virus strains, which are usually classified into two categories, low pathogenic (LPAI) strains, which typically cause few or no clinical signs in poultry and highly pathogenic (HPAI) strains, which can cause severe clinical signs and potentially high mortality rates among poultry.