avian influenza


Definition of 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 Several years ago, a study looking at avian influenza, particular the H5N1 virus, was conducted to assess whether large or small farms were greater risks. James Gorman, New York Times, "How Mink, Like Humans, Were Slammed by the Coronavirus," 23 Dec. 2020 In 2014, for example, the Center’s researchers were the first to identify strains of avian influenza in the US, providing crucial early information to the poultry industry. Adam Federman, Wired, "‘He Didn’t Want Any Covid-Related Studies’," 9 Oct. 2020 Over the years, Congress has held multiple hearings examining numerous serious incidents in elite U.S. labs, including mishaps with anthrax, deadly smallpox and Ebola viruses and dangerous strains of avian influenza. Jessica Blake, ProPublica, "Near Misses at UNC Chapel Hill’s High-Security Lab Illustrate Risk of Accidents With Coronaviruses," 17 Aug. 2020 Among them are the highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses H5N1 and H7N9 and the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Debbie Ponchner, Scientific American, "Costa Rica Readies Horse Antibodies for Trials as an Inexpensive COVID-19 Therapy," 17 Aug. 2020 One spillover that caused international alarm at the time was the H5N1 avian influenza. Gaia Squarci, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Virus Hunters," 10 Aug. 2020 According to the agency, the birds, which were from China, are not allowed to be imported to the United States because of the potential threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Lori Aratani, Washington Post, "Bag of tiny dead birds from China confiscated from passenger at Dulles Airport," 11 Feb. 2020 That left the other two possibilities: virulent Newcastle disease and highly pathogenic avian influenza. Popular Science, "Vets, farmers, and zookeepers can help prevent the next pandemic," 20 May 2020 Scientists have speculated that a novel coronavirus might have caused the Wuhan outbreak as officials there ruled out other coronaviruses -- including SARS and MERS-CoV -- as well as influenza, avian influenza and adenovirus. Linly Lin, Bloomberg.com, "China Reports First Death From Mysterious Pneumonia Outbreak," 7 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avian influenza.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of avian influenza

1965, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for avian influenza

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The first known use of avian influenza was in 1965

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Statistics for avian influenza

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Avian influenza.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avian%20influenza. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for avian influenza

avian influenza

variants: or avian flu

Medical Definition of avian influenza

: 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), 23 Mar. 2006 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, 14 Mar. 2004

called also fowl pest, fowl plague

— see bird flu

More from Merriam-Webster on avian influenza

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about avian influenza

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