[en] Since mid-december 2003, an epizootic of highly pathogenic avian influenza (type A, sub-type H5N1) occurs in eastern and south-eastern Asia. This epizootic is historically unprecedented in its virulence, geographical spread, and economic consequences for the agricultural sector. Implications for human health were registered in Vietnam and in Thailand. This paper summarizes the current knowledge about the risk evaluation of the transmission of avian influenza virus to humans. The current asian epizootic has highlighted the key role of global health information systems and also the need for exhaustive notification of human and animal cases. It reinforces the concept of veterinary public health.