Influenza A viruses have a wide host range for infection, from wild waterfowl to poultry to humans. Recently, the cross-species transmission of avian influenza A, particularly subtype H5N1, has highlighted the importance of the non-human subtypes and their incidence in the human population has increased over the past decade. During cross-species transmission, human disease can range from the asymptomatic to mild conjunctivitis to fulminant pneumonia and death. With these cases, however, the risk for genetic change and development of a novel virus increases, heightening the need for public health and hospital measures. This review discusses the epidemiology, host range, human disease, outcome, treatment, and prevention of cross-transmission of avian influenza A into humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine