Epidemiological Update: Outbreaks of avian influenza caused by influenza A(H5N1) in the Region of the Americas

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As of epidemiological week (EW) 19 of 2023, agricultural authorities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, The United States of America, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela3 have detected outbreaks of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses in domestic birds, farm poultry and/or wild birds, and in mammals. Among the mammals identified, red foxes and skunks were the most frequently affected in North America, and fur seals in South America.

The detection of HPAI outbreaks in 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is a situation never recorded before. The identified outbreaks are mainly located in areas of the Pacific flyway. To date and since the introduction of avian influenza A (H5N1) in the Americas in 2014, three human infections caused by avian influenza A(H5N1) have been reported: the first in the United States of America, reported on 29 April 2022, the second in Ecuador, which was notified on 9 January 2023, and the third in Chile, which was notified on 29 March 2023.

Source: Paho