Just The Facts

What is it?
Avian flu is a form of influenza that often kills domesticated poultry such as chickens and turkeys. Some strains of bird flu can make humans sick, too. The most dangerous is H5N1, which has caused at least 10 human deaths during the current outbreak. H5N1 first jumped the species barrier from birds to humans in Hong Kong in 1997, when six out of 18 infected people died. The fear is that H5N1 could combine with a human-flu strain to create a deadly virus that's so contagious it could cause a human pandemic.

What caused...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!