Infectious Diseases 2021

Infectious Diseases 2021

Avian influenza in Europe - overview

ECDC 27 February, 2021

From 26 November 2020 to 11 February 2021, a total of 566 HPAI outbreaks in poultry were notified in 18 countries in the Animal Disease Notification System (ADNS): 439 in France, 45 in Germany, 39 in Poland, 12 in the United Kingdom , 12 in Ukraine, six in Hungary, four in the Netherlands, four in Czechia, four in Bulgaria, three in Sweden, two in Northern Ireland , and one in Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia. During this time, a total of 8,059,478 birds were affected. Two of the outbreaks (one in the Netherlands and one in the United Kingdom) were reported to be A(H5N1) subtype, and two were A(H5N5) (one in Sweden and one in Slovakia) subtype. All the other outbreaks were reported to be A(H5N8) subtype.
The majority of the detections were reported by France that accounted for 442 outbreaks in poultry, mostly located in the Landes region and affecting the foie gras production industry, and six wild bird detections; Germany, who reported 207 detections in wild birds and 50 poultry outbreaks; Denmark, with 63 detections in wild birds and one poultry outbreak; and Poland, with 37 poultry outbreaks and 24 wild bird detections. Due to the continued presence of HPAI A(H5) viruses in wild birds and the environment, there is still a risk of avian influenza incursions with the potential further spread between establishments, primarily in areas with high poultry densities. As the currently circulating HPAI A(H5N8) virus can cause high mortality also in affected duck farms, mortality events can be seen as a good indicator of virus presence. However, also subclinical virus spread in this type of poultry production system have been reported.
Six different genotypes were identified to date in Europe and Russia, suggesting a high propensity of these viruses to undergo multiple reassortment events.
Seven cases due to A(H5N8) HPAI virus have been reported from Russia, all were poultry workers with mild or no symptoms. Five human cases due to A(H5N6) HPAI and 10 cases due to A(H9N2) LPAI viruses have been reported from China. The risk for the general population as well as travel-related imported human cases is assessed as very low and the risk for people occupationally exposed people as low.