Avian Flu – What is it and can you test against it?

What is Avian Flu?

Avian Flu, also known as H5N1, is a type of influenza that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds. Human cases of Avian Flu (H5N1) occur infrequently, and it is difficult to transmit from person to person. Almost all cases of Avian Flu (H5N1) in humans have been from close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments.

What are the symptoms of Avian Flu in humans?

The symptoms of Avian Flu (H5N1) may include a high fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. Other symptoms early on may include abdominal pain, chest pain and diarrhoea.

Is it safe to eat poultry products?

Research shows that it is safe to eat properly prepared and cooked poultry as the virus is sensitive to heat, therefore normal temperatures used for cooking will kill the virus. Many human infections with the H5N1 virus have been linked to the handling of diseased or dead birds prior to cooking. These practices represent the highest risk of human infection.


As with all viruses, correct disinfection of any environment that may have been infected is key to preventing transmission. It is possible to test disinfectants against Avian flu to test the effectiveness of the product again the virus.

If you have a product you would like to test against H5N1, please get in touch with our team today and someone will be able to help you with your virology requirements!

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