Avian Influenza


Quick Facts about Avian Influenza

Commonly known as avian flu or bird flu , avian influenza is a disease caused by infection with avian influenza viruses. These viruses are normally found in wild birds including ducks, geese, swans, and storks, and domesticated birds like chickens and turkeys. Although the viruses are easily transmissible among birds, they rarely cause infections among people.

Information on the current avian influenza situation is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Workers can get infected with avian flu if enough virus is inhaled or gets into a person’s mouth, eyes, or nose. Birds with avian flu shed the virus in their bodily fluids. Workers who have unprotected contact (no gloves or other personal protective equipment) with infected birds are at risk of infection. This page provides information about avian influenza for workers and employers, and safety measures for workers who are:

  • Egg or poultry farmers or processors
  • Disease control and eradication workers (including government and private sector workers)
  • Animal handlers such as pet shop employees, veterinarians or zookeepers
  • Research laboratory employees

The page includes sections on:


Provides background information on Avian Influenza including source and transmission.

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Highlights OSHA requirements and related information that may be applicable in the event of possible worker exposure to Avian Influenza viruses.

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Control and Prevention

Discusses strategies for controlling and preventing worker exposure to avian influenza.

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Provides links and references to additional resources related to Avian Influenza.

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