UNH Speakers Bureau
Flu: Influenza in you your pets and food animals
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by a virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses), that affects birds and mammals. The name influenza is Italian and means "influence". The disease certainly does influence the body and the world. The ecology of influenza virus is complicated and involved. The Influenza A is the genus that is of most concern. Occasionally, viruses are transmitted to other species and may then cause devastating outbreaks in domestic poultry or give rise to human influenza pandemics. The type A viruses are the most virulent human pathogens among the three influenza types (Influenza A, B, and C) and cause the most severe disease. Your cat, dog, ferret and horse can get the disease. Food animals like chickens and turkeys and pigs can also contract the disease. And our friends in the ocean, whales and other marine mammals can also contract the disease. So, who gets the flu and what does it mean to us – people?