Can people catch avian flu?

Yes, people can catch avian flu, but it is rare. Most cases of human infection have occurred in people who have had close contact with infected poultry, such as working on poultry farms or in live bird markets. The virus can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or through inhaling infected droplets from an infected bird.

Human-to-human transmission of avian flu is rare, but it has been documented. This is most likely to occur when a person is infected with a highly pathogenic strain of the virus, such as H5N1 or H7N9.

The symptoms of avian flu in humans can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, and runny or stuffy nose. Severe symptoms can include pneumonia, difficulty breathing, and even death.

There are a number of things that people can do to reduce their risk of catching avian flu, including:

  • Avoiding contact with infected poultry or live bird markets
  • Cooking poultry thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

If you are concerned about avian flu, you should talk to your doctor.