In one year in 36 European countries 5300 times bird flu: now endemic

In the past year, about 5,300 cases of the bird flu HPAI virus have been recorded in domestic and wild birds in 36 European countries. This is the highest level ever reported in an epidemic season, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) reported.

The persistence of HPAI (H5) in wild birds suggests that the virus has become endemic in wild bird populations in Europe.

A total of 2,398 poultry outbreaks have resulted in the culling of 46 million birds on affected farms. More than half of the poultry outbreaks in Europe were due to the secondary spread of infected poultry to other poultry farms. In addition, 168 outbreaks were detected in domestic birds and 2733 HPAI cases in wild birds.

A new case of bird flu was diagnosed in the Netherlands last week. National measures such as a ban on visiting bird roosts still apply, unless absolutely necessary. Birds at risk include kept gallinaceous birds (such as chickens), waterfowl and ratites.

In a number of regions, there is also an obligation to house and screen. The confinement obligation applies to commercially kept birds. A screening obligation applies to non-commercially kept high-risk birds, for example in zoos and children's farms and to commercially kept pheasants, ornamental water birds and ratites.