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Avian influenza virus doesn't directly affect the immune systems of birds - it is a respiratory infection. However, in response to an infection with avian influenza, the bird's immune system will ramp up production of antibodies against the virus as well as activate natural killer cells that will destroy cells infected with the virus.

Symptoms of bird flu in birds:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Avian Flu in Birds:

Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. The disease occurs worldwide. While all birds are thought to be susceptible to infection with avian influenza viruses, many wild bird species carry these viruses with no apparent signs of harm.

Other bird species, including domestic poultry, develop disease when infected with avian influenza viruses. In poultry, the viruses cause two distinctly different forms of disease - one common and mild, the other rare and highly lethal. In the mild form, signs of illness may be expressed only as ruffled feathers, reduced egg production, or mild effects on the respiratory system. Outbreaks can be so mild they escape detection unless regular testing for viruses is in place.

In contrast, the second and far less common highly pathogenic form is difficult to miss. First identified in Italy in 1878, highly pathogenic avian influenza is characterized by sudden onset of severe disease, rapid contagion, and a mortality rate that can approach 100% within 48 hours. In this form of the disease, the virus not only affects the respiratory tract, as in the mild form, but also invades multiple organs and tissues.

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11y ago
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13y ago

It reduces the affects and the period of which you have it by killing it faster..

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Q: How does bird flu affect birds immune system?
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