Following the confirmation of several outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of the subtype H5 among wild and domestic birds in western Russia and Kazakhstan during the period May-September 2020, all EU member states are urged to intensify surveillance and increasing biosecurity measures to avoid possible new avian influenza outbreaks this year.

The area affected is a known autumn staging site for wild water birds heading winter quarters in Europe. Given past experience, it cannot be ruled out that, a new avian influenza wave may hit northern and eastern Europe in the actual fall or winter, and from there spread to southern and western Europe.

The alert is included in the latest updates on avian influenza from EFSA, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease:

Avian influenza in Europe: update      Avian influenza in Italy: update