Section 1. Avian Influenza Facts

Who Gets Avian Influenza?

  • Avian influenza (AI) virus must find and enter a living animal so it can survive and multiply. This animal is called a host.1,6
  • Many different animals can be hosts for avian influenza, however, birds are the most likely to become infected.
  • Over 60 different species of backyard, wild, and pet birds may be affected by avian influenza.

  • Domesticated poultry are birds that you may keep in your backyard, such as chickens, ducks, quails, pheasants, guinea fowl and turkeys. They have the highest risk of infection and death from avian influenza.

  • AI virus is carried in the digestive tract of wild migratory waterfowl such as geese, ducks, and shorebirds. These migratory birds are the natural reservoir for the avian influenza virus and can spread the virus to other birds.

Avian Influenza HostsAI Host Transmission
Figure Credit: Dr. Daniel Perez