HPAI roundup: Brazil’s potential human case, UK, Quebec, Alaska


Brazil investigated suspected HPAI case in human

Brazil is investigating a suspected case of avian influenza A (H5N1) in a person residing in the state of Espirito Santo.

The case follows the recent confirmation of avian influenza cases in wild birds in the same region. The individual, a 61-year-old man who worked at the park where infected birds were found, is currently isolated and under monitoring due to mild flu symptoms.

Samples from the man and 32 other park employees are being analyzed. Although no confirmed cases of influenza A have been reported in Brazil, the country, as the largest poultry exporter.

UK detects HPAI in two workers

The United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on Tuesday that two poultry workers in England have tested positive for avian influenza virus. The individuals had been tested as part of the contact tracing efforts following their exposure to infected birds.

According to the UKHSA, both workers had recently worked on a poultry farm that had reported cases of avian influenza. Fortunately, neither person displayed any symptoms of the virus, and subsequent tests have come back negative.

The UKHSA emphasized that this development did not alter the current risk level to human health. Importantly, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus at this time.

Alaska battles severe HPAI outbreak 

Alaska is grappling with a severe avian influenza outbreak that poses a significant risk to both wild birds and domestic poultry, warns state veterinarian Dr. Bob Gerlach.

As migratory birds return to the state, owners of backyard chickens, ducks, and geese are urged to maintain necessary precautions. This outbreak, which began last spring, escalated into the largest bird flu epidemic in U.S. history, resulting in the deaths of thousands of wild birds and over 58 million domestic poultry. Nationwide, the outbreak has caused a surge in egg and poultry prices.

To combat the persistent threat, organizations such as the Bird Treatment & Learning Center in Anchorage are upholding stringent biosecurity measures. Dr. Karen Higgs emphasizes the ongoing need for vigilance. The outbreak has already claimed the lives of more than 1,200 chickens and ducks, 200 wild birds, and several mammals in Alaska.

Quebec HPAI cases higher than expected

Quebec is facing a severe avian flu outbreak, with nearly one million birds euthanized or deceased since last year.

Poultry farmers are taking extra precautions to protect their flocks, implementing hygiene measures and preventing contact with wild birds. The highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is impacting poultry farming across the province, causing anxiety and a shortage of euthanization drugs.

Quebec has 20 actively infected locations, while Alberta and British Columbia also report cases.

The outbreak’s concentration is observed in a cluster of farms in the Montérégie region. Avian flu has been found in various bird species and mammals. Human health risk remains low, but monitoring continues due to evolving mutations.

Source: Meatingplace