Avian Influenza (AI) - Emergence - Your Guide to Transboundary & Emerging Diseases
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319
Total Reported Outbreaks
59
Total Affected Countries
6
Total Affected Species
Key Facts
Clinical Signs
Treatment and Management
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Avian influenza is a notifiable viral disease that significantly impacts poultry health and welfare, farmer livelihoods, and trade. Biosecurity and management pose a huge challenge due to the wild bird reservoir and in cases of epidemics.

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Avian Influenza (AI)

This disease is prevalent in many parts of the world. Find out where the latest reported outbreaks are with this map.

Key Facts
Clinical Signs

As there are different types of the avian influenza virus, so the clinical presentation of the disease may vary. LPAI is associated with few or no clinical signs whereas HPAI is highly contagious and can cause severe clinical signs and high mortality. Clinical signs in poultry may range from mild respiratory signs, reduced egg production and immunosuppression with LPAI, to severe respiratory signs, sudden drop in egg production and up to 100% mortality with HPAI. Other signs may be seen.

Treatment

Treatment is not an option given the rapid spread and high mortality of HPAI. Preventive measures must be taken to reduce the impact of this disease.

Management

The World Health Organization (WHO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) work together on international coordination of the control of avian influenza. This includes science-based international guidelines and recommendations, as well as monitoring via the network of reference laboratories. Effective surveillance, including wild birds, is important to increase early disease detection. As with many other diseases, prevention is important and effective biosecurity measures are essential for poultry farms and owners of domestic birds. These focus on keeping the virus out of contact with poultry, and includes good cleaning and disinfection, barriers to prevent contact with wild birds, and controlling the access of people to poultry buildings. In the event of HPAI outbreaks stamping out is a standard tool to eradicate the virus in many areas, whilst vaccination may also be an option.

Hens in a field, that could be at risk of avian influenza
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Focus On… Avian Influenza – a unique challenge
Influenza viruses occur naturally in many wild birds and, periodically, some of these ‘spill over’ into poultry, pigs, and humans. The winter of 2016/17 has seen widespread occurrence of a…
Latest Articles and Events
Knowledge Hub
Welcoming 2021
Welcome to a new edition of emergence and the beginning of a new year.  This always seems a natural time to reflect, both on what has happened in the last year and also on hopes for the coming one. Welcome to a new edition of emergence and the beginning of a new year.  This always seems a natural time to reflect, both on what has happened in the last year and also on hopes for the coming one. Last year was a complex one for transboundary and emerging diseases.  The pandemic brought the issue of One Health diseases to the fore, and this has had an important impact on how the world focuses on controlling these diseases.  However, it also meant a lot of funds were diverted from on-going control programs in order to deal with the emergency.  This could mean that, in the short-term, we are going to see a resurgence of certain viruses. What is clear is that we need to get better with our surveillance, both of the known diseases and of those emerging in the human:animal interface.  And this is where technology is coming in to play.  There are a lot of exciting developments that could change our knowledge and ability to predict where our focus needs to be.  Drones not only allow us to start delivering vaccines to areas previously difficult to access, but they can also be used for animal surveillance, helping us to learn more about animal numbers and movements, both domestic and wildlife.  Social media platforms allow us to hear people’s voices and to see new disease outbreaks in real time.  Improved animal tracking helps us follow not just where animals have come from, but also to retrospectively go back and find the nodes from where disease spreads.  These are exciting times. For the International Veterinary Health Team, innovation is a driver.  It is part of our everyday intent to discover improved ways of bringing you information.  The emergence podcast has allowed us to have interviews with experts, the new website is more interactive than ever, we hosted a virtual stand at the EuFMD OS20 meeting, and we started the Rabies 360 Challenge to leverage social media in raising awareness to rabies. Reach out to us with suggestions of topics you would like covered on the podcast and on the website.  We want to bring you the information that you need, and the best way for us to ensure that is by hearing from you. We will continue to look at new technologies and to explore just how they can help us all in the One Health community to bring improved health and welfare to animals and humans alike.  This is our commitment in looking forward to this year.
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New podcast: The One About One Health
It's ONE HEALTH DAY and on the newest episode of the emergence podcast Dr. Alasdair King talks to: Drs Tiziana Lembo and Divine Ekwem from Glasgow University about their project in Tanzania looking at Foot and Mouth Disease and impact at the community level Dr Jenifer Chatfield from the Vet Candy podcast about One Health and her experiences. We also announce the winners of the World Rabies Day Awards 2020. Listen to the episode here.
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Leavepiece - International Veterinary Health (IVH) team of MSD Animal Health
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Report - USDA - Animal Influenza (AI) Viruses Gap Analysis March 2014
US Department of Agriculture - Animal Influenza (AI) Viruses Gap Analysis March 2014 PDF
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Focus On… Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Similar Transboundary Animal Diseases (FAST)
For the last few years, countries in the European neighbourhood have been affected by various disease occurrences, such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) epidemics in North Africa, raising onward risks for disease-free countries in Europe.
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Focus On... Avian Influenza – a unique challenge
Influenza viruses occur naturally in many wild birds and, periodically, some of these ‘spill over’ into poultry, pigs, and humans. The winter of 2016/17 has seen widespread occurrence of a new strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza in many countries in Eurasia, with spread even to southern Africa.
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