Understanding Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Here are some facts about HPAI:

HPAI stands for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. It spreads very easily among flocks, and has a high rate of mortality.

Avian Influenza (AI) is separated into two categories: Low pathogenic which has few visible symptoms (aka clinical signs) and a relatively low mortality rate, and Highly pathogenic which has a high mortality rate and is easily spread. Low Pathogenic strains can suddenly and without warning become highly pathogenic.

AI is spread from wild birds, via direct transmission or through exposure to their manure. It can be passed via contaminated footwear and clothing.

Wild birds, and in particular waterfowl, act as reservoirs for infection because they are usually less severely affected by the virus. The current outbreak is different in that it seems to also be highly pathogenic among wild bird species. If you’re seeing a larger number of dead birds, like ducks and geese, in public parks and spaces – this is why.

This particular strain has also been identified among bald eagles and red-tailed hawks, which means in addition to having an impact on our food sources, it is also having an environmental impact. Continue reading “Understanding Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza”

Understanding Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza