Avian influenza: the European Union is on the alert for new outbreaks

 
Yuhai Bi. et al., 2016 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2016.10.022

 

 

European Union (EU) countries have been urged to step up surveillance and biosecurity measures to prevent possible new avian influenza epidemics.

The alarm follows outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that have occurred among wild birds and poultry in western Russia and Kazakhstan in recent months. This region is a well known autumn migration route for wild waterfowl heading to Europe.

In the light of past experience, Northern and Eastern Europe appear to be the most vulnerable to new epidemics. Indeed, when HPAI was detected in the same area of ​​Russia in the summers of 2005 and 2016, it was in these areas that epidemics followed. If the pattern is repeated this year, the HPAI should arrive in the same European areas between autumn and winter. A subsequent spread to the countries of southern and western Europe cannot be excluded.

The alert is included in the latest update report on avian influenza in Europe and outside Eupre. The new report – which is written by EFSA, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union reference laboratory for avian influenza – covers the period May to August 2020.

The report recommends that EU countries, in accordance with EU legislation on risk mitigation and early detection systems for HPAI, should:

  • Take measures to detect suspected cases of HPAI promptly, and increase biosecurity measures at poultry farms.
  • Warn veterinary and wildlife health authorities of the likely risk of HPAI introduction, and urge them to carry out observation and testing of dead or sick wild birds.

Spread of the virus is likely to be triggered by a sudden and persistent fall in temperatures in central Russia and Kazakhstan. Several studies demonstrate that cold weather conditions led to the rapid westward expansion of the HPAI virus by infected migratory birds during the 2005-2006 and 2016-2017 waves.

The risk of transmission of avian influenza viruses to the public in Europe remains very low. However, to minimise the risk of transmission to humans, people are advised not to not touch dead birds without wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

 

 

Source: EFSA

 

 
 
 

NATIONAL REFERENCE CENTRE FOR VETERINARY EPIDEMIOLOGY, PROGRAMMING AND INFORMATION AND RISK ANALYSIS (COVEPI)
Daniela Morelli

National Reference Centre for Risk Analysis
Armando Giovannini

Epidemiology
Paolo Calistri

Statistics and GIS
Annamaria Conte

EDITORIAL STAFF

e-mail benv@izs.it

fax +39 0861 332251

Cookie Policy

 

Coordination
Simona Iannetti
Francesca Dall'Acqua

Editorial board
Barbara Alessandrini, Annamaria Conte, Fabrizio De Massis, Armando Giovannini, Paolo Calistri, Federica Monaco, Giovanni Savini

Istructional designer
Alessandro De Luca

Web master
Sandro Santarelli

logo IZSAM