Risks of avian influenza (H5N1)

Find out what the risks of avian influenza (H5N1) are and who is most at risk.

What are the risks of human infection with avian influenza (H5N1)?

Infection with avian influenza (H5N1) in humans is rare, and the spread of infection between humans is very rare. The risk for most travellers is low.

Worldwide, avian influenza (H5N1) has caused about 650 human cases and 350 deaths since 2003.

The human cases were found in countries that had outbreaks of avian influenza (H5N1) in poultry. This includes:

  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam

Avian influenza (H5N1) has not been identified in birds in Canada. The risk of avian influenza (H5N1) to Canadians is very low. There is also no risk of catching the flu virus by eating well-cooked poultry.

While this type of avian influenza has not been identified in birds in Canada, there was an isolated human case. An Alberta resident died of avian influenza (H5N1) in early 2014 after returning from a trip to China.

Canada continually monitors:

  • outbreaks of avian influenza (H5N1) in poultry
  • outbreaks as well as human cases in Asia and other countries

Canada works closely with its national and international partners, including the World Health Organization. Together, they track flu activity in Canada and around the world.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: