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Emerging Infectious Disease page

Emerging means infections that have increased recently or are threatening to increase in the near future. Information on novel emerging infectious diseases or disease outbreaks will be added here as they arise.

These infections could be

  • completely new

  • completely new to an area 

  • reappearing in an area 

  • caused by bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics


Avian Influenza

Avian influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Some avian influenza viruses that primarily circulate in animals have infected people on rare occasion. When influenza viruses that normally circulate in animals cause an infection in people, this is called a “novel” virus infection. Not all influenza viruses found in birds are known to cause human infections.

How it spreads: Flu viruses are highly contagious. People can get infected through contact with saliva, nasal secretions, and droppings (poop) from infected animals. People also can get infected through contact with virus-contaminated surfaces, poultry coops, pig pens, and supplies. Less often, people can get infected by touching an infected animal and then touching their own eyes, nose, or mouth.

Who is at risk: It is rare for avian flu to spread to people. Anyone can get the flu, but children younger than 5 years old, pregnant people, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are at high risk for serious flu complications.

People who work closely with large numbers of birds, such as producers, are more likely to get avian flu if their animals are infected.

Signs in poultry: Birds can be infected with flu viruses without showing symptoms. Signs that poultry may be infected range from decreased egg production to extremely high death rates.

CDC Additional Information on HPAI in Mammals Including Dairy Cattle 

FDA HPAI Updates

Symptoms in people: People infected with avian flu viruses can have symptoms similar to the human seasonal flu, such as fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, and coughing. They may also have red eyes, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some people can have serious flu complications, including inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis), or muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis) tissues, and multi-organ failure (for example, respiratory and kidney failure).


How Infected Poultry Can Spread Avian Influenza Handout English Spanish

CDC Information

Delaware Avian Influenza Information Center 

What to Know CDC Handout


Travel Advisories 

Travel Advisory – Dengue Virus in Puerto Rico

For full CDC travel advisories; Visit: 


FDA Food  Safety Recalls




IDPC Newsletter Article Archive 

Dengue 4.2024

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) 11.2023

Malaria 11.2023

Information about Mpox has moved to 

Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

24/7 Emergency Contact Number: 1-888-295-5156

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