ECDC publishes avian influenza overview, December 2020 to February 2021

09 March 2021

Article: 55/1005

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published an overview of avian influenza for the period December 2020 to February 2021. Between 8 December 2020 and 23 February 2021, 1,022 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus detections were reported in 25 EU/EEA countries and the UK, in poultry, wild and captive birds.

In major findings from the overview: 

  • France had the greatest number of detections, with 442 outbreaks in poultry, mostly located in the Landes region and affecting the foie gras production industry, and six wild bird detections. 
  • Germany reported 207 detections in wild birds and 50 poultry outbreaks. 
  • Denmark reported 63 detections in wild birds and one poultry outbreak. 
  • Poland reported 37 poultry outbreaks and 24 wild bird detections.

Seven human cases due to A(H5N8) HPAI virus have been reported from Russia, in all cases poultry workers with mild or no symptoms (see 55/0902), while five human cases due to A(H5N6) HPAI and 10 cases due to A(H9N2) LPAI viruses have been reported from China.

The risk to the general population as well as travel-related imported human cases is assessed as very low and the risk to occupationally exposed people is assessed as low. Any human infections with avian influenza viruses are notifiable within 24 hours through the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) and the International Health Regulations (IHR) notification system.

Source: ECDC, 26 February 2021