Between 8 December 2020 and 23 February 2021, around 1,000 reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) were reported in 25 EU / EEA countries and the United Kingdom, according to the latest HPAI review in Europe.
Most of the 1,022 discoveries – 592 – were recorded in domestic poultry, and the rest are wild birds and captive birds. Most of the findings were reported by France in the duck sector.
Due to the continued presence of the HPAI virus in wild birds and the environment, there is still a risk of further spread, primarily in areas with high poultry densities.
Seven cases of HPAI (H5N8) virus have been reported in Russia in humans, all poultry workers with or without mild symptoms.
The risk of infection with avian influenza A (H5N8) virus remains very low for the general EU / EEA population and low for occupationally exposed people.
It remains possible that new strains with increased potential to infect humans will emerge, but to date there is no evidence of any mutations known to have zoonotic potential.
More information on the situation in Russia can be found at a briefing published this week by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.