avian influenza


: highly variable influenza A of birds caused by any of the subtypes of the causative orthomyxovirus of which some strains have been or may be transmitted to other vertebrates including humans especially after undergoing mutation

called also avian flu

compare bird flu

Examples of avian influenza in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bird flu is low risk for humans The first case of avian influenza in a person in the United States was reported in Colorado in April 2022. Marina Johnson, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Apr. 2024 The Texas case marks the the first human infection of the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza in Texas and the second ever in the U.S. USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2024 The recent spread of avian influenza in dairy cattle in the U.S. has startled even some scientists who've tracked a global outbreak of the virus over the last few years. Will Stone, NPR, 4 Apr. 2024 What is bird flu, also known as avian flu? Bird flu, also known as avian influenza or H5N1 virus, refers to the disease caused by infection with Type A viruses. The Enquirer, 3 Apr. 2024 Bird flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus, was first detected in 1996 among birds in China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youri Benadjaoud, ABC News, 3 Apr. 2024 Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been discovered in dairy herds in Michigan and Idaho, indicating the virus is spreading into new US states. Alastair Marsh, Fortune, 30 Mar. 2024 Millions of domestic fowl and hundreds of thousands of migratory birds around the world have died over the past four years, as the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), more commonly known as bird flu, continues to grip the globe. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Mar. 2024 But after weeks of uncertainty, U.S. Department of Agriculture testing revealed on March 25 that the disease was highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a form of bird flu that had never been detected in cattle before. Dylan Sloan, Fortune, 27 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'avian influenza.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1965, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of avian influenza was in 1965

Dictionary Entries Near avian influenza

Cite this Entry

“Avian influenza.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avian%20influenza. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

avian influenza

variants or avian flu
: influenza of birds that is caused by any of several subtypes (such as H5N2 or H7N7) of an orthomyxovirus (species Influenza A virus of the genus Influenzavirus A) of which some strains have been transmitted to other vertebrates including humans especially after undergoing mutation
Most cases of avian influenza infection in humans have resulted from contact with infected poultry (e.g., domesticated chicken, ducks, and turkeys) or surfaces contaminated with secretion/excretions from infected birds.The Tennessee Tribune (Nashville)
And as you read this, millions of birds are being eliminated in Asia and elsewhere in an effort to contain avian flu.Barry Gewen, The New York Times Book Review

called also fowl pest, fowl plague

see bird flu

More from Merriam-Webster on avian influenza

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