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Avian Influenza (also known as bird flu, avian flu, influenzavirus A, type A flu, or genus A flu) is a type of influenza virus that is hosted by birds, but may infect several species of mammals. It was first identified in Italy in the early 1900s and is now known to exist worldwide. A strain of the H5N1-type of avian influenza that emerged in 1997 has been identified as the most likely source of a future influenza pandemic. Avian Influenza
H5N1 is a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza (bird flu). The first known appearance of this type of influenza in humans was in Hong Kong during 1997. The infection of humans coincided with an epidemic of avian influenza, caused by the same strain, in Hong Kong’s poultry population. The outbreak was stopped by total elimination of poultry population within the territory. The name H5N1 refers to the subtypes of surface antigens present on the virus: hemagglutinin type 5 and neuraminidase type 1.
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
So if someone contracts 'bird flu', which has been around for many years, it isn't necessarily H5N1.