Are there fears that bird flu might mutate?

For sure. This is an ongoing, legitimate concern. All that is required for a major pandemic is for an existing influenza strain to mutate to something our immune systems can't respond to. If this occurs, the public health outcome could be devastating. We now recommend influenza vaccination for all people. Wash your hands, listen to the news, and make sure you have a medical home if you become ill.
Yes. Influenza is always changing its genetic material which is why you need a new flu vaccine every year. There are two types of change 1) drift which is a small change from year to year and 2) shift whichis a completely new change. Shift can lead to pandemics because there is a lack of immunity to the new virus in the community.

Related Questions

How is bird flu spread?

Like other flu. Bird flu is usually acquired through close contact with birds and breathing their respiratory secretions. It usually does not spread from person to person, thank god! Read more...

How is bird flu diagnosed?

Virtually none seen. This strain of influenza has not been seen in the USA. Cannot say there have been none, but if so, rare. The best way to avoid influenza is through regular yearly vaccination. The CDC tracks the types of flu most commonly seen and those are included in the latest vaccines available. Read more...

What happened with bird flu?

Still around. The virus is still around and has caused disease in the east. See this site for more info. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/h7n9-virus.htm. Read more...

Where did bird flu originate?

Pigs. It is my understanding the a pig virus adapted itself to infecting birds. Read more...
Southeast Asia. In many areas pigs and ducks and humans are in close proximity in agricultural communities. They can be infected with more than one variety of influenza at the same time and admixture of genetic material occurs dramatically changing the infectivity and virulence of the virus. Under certain circumstances the virus obtains the ability to infect humans and we have a new epidemic. Read more...

Why is bird flu so dangerous?

More deadly. More likely to cause death. Why? Very interesting question that researchers are hard at work trying to answer. Read more...

What's it mean to have bird flu?

Influenza H5N1 var. This years influenza variant was first noted in wild birds and is the h5n1 type - so its an influenza virus that people contracted from birds in asia. It responds well to most influenza drugs. It is not a particularly deadly form of the virus - but note that influenza does lead to the deaths of thousands of americans a year every year. Read more...
Influenza. Bird flu is one kind of type a influenza. It is a serious infection with high mortality rate. Read more...