OSHA Updates Avian Flu Website

Avian influenza, commonly known as “avian flu” or “bird flu,” is a disease that can be transmitted from infected wild and domestic birds to people.

OSHA’s recently updated Avian Influenza page provides information on protecting workers in egg and poultry production, veterinary facilities, pet shops, and food servicing who may be exposed to infectious birds or poultry products.

Most AIVs do not infect humans; however, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses have caused serious infections in humans. There have never been human HPAI cases in the U.S. and only very few, sporadic human LPAI cases.

Between early 2013 to early 2017, 916 lab-confirmed human cases of H7N9 were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). On 9 January 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China reported to WHO 106 cases of H7N9 which occurred from late November through late December, including 35 deaths, 2 potential cases of human-to-human transmission, and 80 of these 106 persons stating that they have visited live poultry markets.

The webpage includes information on hand hygiene and good housekeeping, as well as recommended precautions, such as personal protective equipment, for higher-risk occupations.