bird flu

noun

Definition of bird flu

: avian influenza specifically : severe often fatal influenza A caused by strains of a subtype (H5N1) of the causative orthomyxovirus that have produced epidemics in domestic birds especially in Asia with sporadic associated human infections

Examples of bird flu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The center, known as Vector, houses samples of some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens, such as smallpox, ebola, bird flu, and a number of hepatitis strains. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Russian Facility That Houses Smallpox Virus Rocked by Explosion," 17 Sep. 2019 One team proved that endangered otters in a Cambodian zoo were killed by their feed — raw chickens infected with bird flu. New York Times, "Scientists Were Hunting for the Next Ebola. Now the U.S. Has Cut Off Their Funding.," 25 Oct. 2019 That kind of viral evolution is notoriously linked to severe emerging diseases like bird flu, HIV, Ebola fever and SARS. Quanta Magazine, "Viruses Would Rather Jump to New Hosts Than Evolve With Them," 13 Sep. 2017 Like many animals flown in from overseas, importing commercial birds requires quarantine to prevent the spread of disease, including bird flu and Newcastle disease, a contagious and fatal illness that attacks the nervous system of birds and poultry. Michael Brice-saddler, courant.com, "Prosecutors: East Hartford man tried to smuggle 34 finches through JFK Airport," 18 June 2019 Sufficiently capable actors could work to resurrect the deadliest pathogens of the past, like smallpox or Spanish flu, or modify existing pathogens such as bird flu to be more contagious and lethal. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 In 1985, his continuing hunt for bird flu took him to Delaware Bay. Washington Post, "Bird flu hot spot: Scientists track virus in huge migration," 28 June 2018 Today’s top concern is a lethal bird flu that jumped from poultry to more than 1,500 people in China since 2013. Time, "Scientists Seek Universal Flu Shot 100 Years After Deadly Pandemic," 19 Jan. 2018 Flu viruses that spread easily among humans tend not to grow as well in chicken eggs as bird flu strains do. Jason Gale / Bloomberg, Time, "How Effective Is the 2018 Flu Shot? Here's What You Should Know," 7 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bird flu.' 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 bird flu

1980, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for bird flu

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The first known use of bird flu was in 1980

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Statistics for bird flu

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bird flu.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bird%20flu. Accessed 16 December 2019.

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More Definitions for bird flu

bird flu

noun
\ ˈbərd- How to pronounce bird flu (audio) \

Medical Definition of bird flu

: avian influenza specifically : severe often fatal influenza A caused by strains of a subtype (H5N1) of the causative orthomyxovirus that have produced epidemics in domestic birds especially in Asia with sporadic associated human infections

More from Merriam-Webster on bird flu

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bird flu

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