Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) is primarily a bird disease particular to domestic poultry, although it can infect most other domestic and wild birds. It is only one of several types of influenza viruses that infect birds.
There is no evidence of HPAI H5N1 in North America. However, it could eventually arrive via migratory wild birds, illegal importation of infected poultry or captive exotic birds, or from infected travelers or their contaminated belongings entering California on direct flights from regions where the HPAI H5N1 virus is prevalent.
Local Government Guidance
The Public Health Considerations for Detection of Avian Influenza in Birds Guidance (HPAI H5N1) (PDF) is intended to describe multi-agency planning considerations – and current thinking on human health consequences – should H5N1 be detected in any bird species in California. This should serve as a reference for local governments should we experience an avian influenza outbreak.