Infectious Diseases 2021

Infectious Diseases 2021

Avian influenza overview February – May 2021

9 June, 2021

A Scientific report from European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), published on May 31, 2021, describes the February-May 2021 European High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) season as “one of the largest and most devastating HPAI epidemics ever occurred in Europe.” The 2020-2021 HPAI epidemic counts 3,555 detected infections in 27 European countries (22 EU MS, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom), involving 22.4 million poultry birds. The epicenter of the HPAI epidemic appears to have been in Germany and Poland, with the former country detecting the largest number of infections in wild birds (603) and the latter the largest number of outbreaks in farm flocks (297). During this period, sixteen different HPAI genotypes were found, indicating a high level of virus reassortment. The annex to the report details the chronology of the AI detections and measures taken country by country. The authors of the report highlight the need for strict biosafety controls on farms given this severe HPAI epidemic.
In economic terms, the impact of this HPAI epidemic on the EU poultry market remained limited, except in Poland, where poultry production in 2021 is forecast to decrease by 12 percent compared to 2020.