ECDC publishes avian influenza overview for May to September 2021

05 October 2021

Article: 55/4004

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published an overview of avian influenza for the period May to September 2021. Between 15 May and 15 September 2021, 162 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus detections were reported in 17 EU and EEA countries, and the UK, in poultry, wild and captive birds. The most affected countries were Kosovo with 20 cases, Poland with 17 cases and Albania with six cases.

The data presented in this report indicates that the HPAI virus is still circulating in domestic and wild bird populations in some European countries, and that the epidemic is not over yet. Based on these observations, it appears that the persistence of HPAI A(H5) in Europe continues to pose a risk of further virus incursions in domestic bird populations. Furthermore, during the summer, HPAI viruses were detected in poultry and several wild bird species in areas in Russia that are linked to key migration areas of wild waterbirds. The ECDC report that this is of concern due to the possible introduction and spread of novel virus strains via wild birds migrating to EU countries during the autumn from eastern breeding areas to the overwintering sites. In total, 19 different virus genotypes have been identified so far in Europe and Central Asia since July 2020, confirming a high propensity for this virus to undergo reassortment events.

Since the last ECDC avian influenza summary report in May 2021, 15 human infections due to A(H5N6) HPAI and five human cases due to A(H9N2) low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus have been reported from China.

Source: ECDC, 30 September 2021