H5 Viruses in the United States
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 infections have been reported in U.S. domestic poultry (backyard and commercial flocks), captive wild birds, and wild birds. HPAI H5 detections began in December 2014 and have continued into April 2015. USDA is reporting that H5 viruses have been detected in birds in 18 U.S. states; 13 states have experienced outbreaks in poultry flocks and 5 states have detected H5 in wild birds.
No human infections with these viruses have been detected at this time, however similar viruses have infected people in other countries and caused serious illness and death in some cases. Human infections with other avian influenza viruses have occurred after close and prolonged contact with infected birds or the excretions/secretions of infected birds (e.g., droppings, oral fluids).
While the health risk posed to the general public by these domestic HPAI outbreaks is low at this time, it is possible that human infections with these viruses may occur. CDC has guidance for clinicians and public health professionals in the United States on appropriate follow-up, preventive treatment, testing, specimen collection and processing of samples from patients who may be infected with H5 viruses and has been in close contact with state health departments from all 16 states that have detected H5 in birds.