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Mankind's 13 Deadliest Diseases

Adam Starr | AllHealthcare

11. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

The CDC: “Avian influenza is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These influenza viruses occur naturally among birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the viruses in their intestines, but usually do not get sick from them. However, avian influenza is very contagious among birds and can make some domesticated birds, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys, very sick and kill them. Infected birds shed influenza virus in their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces.

“Human influenza virus” usually refers to those subtypes that spread widely among humans. Symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical human influenza-like symptoms to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases and other severe and life-threatening complications. “ The WHO estimates 421 cases and 257 deaths have occurred since the outbreak started in 2003. Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the disease with 115 deaths.

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