H5N1 bird flu is a viral disease that primarily infects poultry (e.g., chickens, turkey, ducks) and other wild birds. H5N1 bird flu is particularly contagious in bird populations and has resulted in the deaths of millions of birds in the United States. There have been eight positive and one presumptively positive cases of H5N1 bird flu reported in humans in the United States in 2024.

H5N1 bird flu symptoms are similar to the seasonal influenza virus. Possible symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, eye infections, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, and severe respiratory disease. If you have had close and/or sustained unprotected contact with infected birds or animals or their contaminated environments, monitor for these symptoms for 10 days after your last exposure. If you have these symptoms, speak with your healthcare provider about the length of your at-home isolation before returning to your normal activities. The same diagnostic tools that are used to detect seasonal influenza viruses like the flu can also detect H5N1 bird flu.

Updated on July 15, 2024