OSHA Quick Card

Protect Yourself
Avian Flu
Animal Handlers
(Not Poultry Employees)

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 infected humans in other countries. If these viruses are found in the U.S., take appropriate precautions. If birds or other animals (e.g., cats, civets, ferrets, pigs, dogs, and stone martens can become infected) are suspected of being HPAI H5N1-infected, immediately notify Federal or state animal health officials.

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 abnormal 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 of avian influenza may depend on which virus caused the infection but are often similar to those associated with human seasonal influenza.

Basic Control Measures
  • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently, preferably with soap and water for 15-20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect any suspected infected areas.
  • Get informed about avian flu.

Precautions When Working with
Potentially Infected Animals

Wear appropriate, preferably disposable, personal protective equipment (PPE); or wear equipment that can be disinfected:
  • Gloves.
  • Shoe covers.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Outer garments with a waterproof apron.
  • Wear at least the minimum level of respiratory protection, N95 or higher respirator.
  • While wearing PPE, avoid eating, drinking and smoking.

Additional Guidance
  • Get the seasonal influenza vaccine.
  • If you develop flu-like symptoms, stay at home except to get medical attention.

For more complete information:
OSHA Occupational
Safety and Health
U.S. Department of Labor
www.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA

OSHA 3309-10-06