Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) Vaccine

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Last reviewed
September 22, 2022

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Avian influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by various zoonotic (animal) viruses, says the WHO. Since 2003, multiple countries have reported more than 860 human infections with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses to the World Health Organization (WHO), with about 53% of those cases resulting in fatalities.

The Eurasian H5N1 strain first appeared in North America in January 2022 and has affected poultry/birds in 39 states and led to the loss of over 44 million birds as of September 15, 2022. A Summary of Detection Locations is posted at this link. As of September 22, 2022, the U.S. CDC says, 'the public health risk associated with these avian influenza detections in birds remains low.'

Avian Influenza Vaccines

The U.S. government has approved a vaccine for one type of bird flu virus and could distribute it if a person-to-person avian influenza outbreak occurs. The U.S. FDA has authorized CSL Seqirus' Audenz™ monovalent cell-based vaccine. Audenz was Supplimentally Approved by the U.S. FDA in 2021 for use in persons at increased risk of exposure to the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype.

The European Commission signed a framework contract on July 28, 2022, for the joint procurement of GSK's Adjupanrix, a pandemic influenza vaccine, under which the Member States can purchase up to 85 million vaccine doses if necessary, in the event of an influenza pandemic.

Moreover, the FDA says annual flu shots do not protect people from avian influenza (bird flu) pandemic infections.

Avian Influenza Viruses

The U.S. CDC says these are the first detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) A(H5) viruses in the U.S. since 2016. As of September 2022, the USDA updated 'Detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Birds in 2022.'

Avian influenza (Bird Flu) is a disease caused by influenza type A viruses that occur naturally among birds and domestic poultry. Highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus subtypes (H5, H7, H9) infect humans. Ancestors of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses first emerged in southern China in 1997. The Asian lineage H5N1 and H7N9 have caused the most human infections, according to the U.S. CDC's FluView dashboard. Internationally, 54 countries reported an H5N1 outbreak in birds in 2021 and 2022.

Avian Influenza Infection in Humans

The U.S. CDC publishes: Past Reported Global Human Cases with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) (HPAI H5N1) by Country, 1997-2022.

On April 28, 2022, the state of Colorado reported the first influenza A (H5) virus infection in Montrose County. The CDC says this 'Colorado patient is the first human detection of any influenza A(H5) virus in the U.S. On May 5, 2022, the CDC confirmed this human infection. In 2022, over 2,500 people had been monitored for symptoms following exposure to infected birds. Previously, one human infection with HPAI A(H5N1) virus was reported in the U.K. on January 14, 2022.

Avian Influenza in China

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is closely monitoring human cases of avian influenza in the Mainland and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food, and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel. On September 15, 2022, a new case involves a 6-year-old girl living in Nanning, Guangxi, who had visited a live poultry market before onset. She developed symptoms on July 30 and was admitted for treatment on August 3. She is in serious condition. From 2014 to date, 80 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by Mainland health authorities. The public may visit the CHP's avian influenza webpage, the weekly Avian Influenza Report, global statistics, and affected areas of avian influenza for updated news.

Avian Influenza International News For 2022

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported H5N1 outbreaks beginning in December 2021, marking the first identification of HPAI in the Americas since June 2015. The estimated number of birds in flocks impacted by avian influenza segmented by Canadian province is updated weekly on this webpage.

In May 2022, two red fox kits in Ontario, Canada, tested positive for HPAI. Those kits were the first reported cases of the current HPAI outbreak in a wild mammal in North America. Red fox infections were also confirmed in Michigan and Minnesotabald eagles in Alaska, skunks and raccoons in Washington, and seals near Maine in July 2022. In addition, Norway recently reported H5N1 for the first time in mammals (foxes), according to a study posted on July 25, 2022. And on August 30, 2022, the first case of H5N1 infection in a black bear was confirmed in Quebec.

Avian Influenza Medications For 2022

The U.S. CDC currently recommends antiviral medicines for people who contract bird flu. However, evidence indicates these antivirals are less effective against A(H5N1) and A(H7N9).

Avian Influenza News For 2022

September 19, 2022 - The World Organization for Animal Health reported a High pathogenicity avian influenza virus outbreak in central Poland, killing 590 of 1,677 susceptible birds.

September 13, 2022 - The Central American country of Belize reported an avian influenza outbreak the resulted in the culling of a local flock.

September 7, 2022 - The University of Florida confirmed a HAPI infection killed a bottlenose dolphin in 2022.

September 6, 2022 - The AP reported Ohio’s Defiance County has affected roughly 3 million chickens infected with the HAPI virus.

August 22, 2022 - The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the USDA confirmed HPAI in a non-commercial flock in Henry County, Georgia. This is the second confirmation of HPAI in Georgia. 

August 18, 2022 - The Financial Times reported that avian flu's new strain decimates wild birds. Humans should worry.

August 12, 2022 - New cases found on Lehigh Valley farm; nearby N.J. farmers are now on alert.

August 8, 2022 - BirdLife International reported that an unprecedented wave of avian flu had devastated bird populations across the Northern Hemisphere.

July 29, 2022 - Positive cases of avian influenza, or the bird flu, have been found in four wild birds in Sonoma County. The Sonoma County Department of Health Services warns residents of the potential risk of handling or coming into close contact with a diseased or dead bird.

July 22, 2022 - The USDA Animal and APHIS confirmed the presence of HPAI in a non-commercial backyard flock (non-poultry) in Seminole County, Florida.

July 21, 2022 - Research led by the University of Pittsburgh's Jason Shoemaker uses computational modeling to understand the body's immune response to avian flu. His latest work, published in the journal Viruses, finds that the interferon levels may be responsible for its more severe presentation and may also be the key to treating it. 

July 8, 2022 - The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced Nevada's first HAPI outbreak in poultry in Carson City.

July 4, 2022 - Beginning in June 2022, Marine Mammals of Maine has responded to a high number of stranded seals. Most of the seals were found dead. The current rate of dead seal strandings in this area is approximately three times the regular rate for this time of the year. Samples from four-stranded seals in Maine have tested positive for HAPI H5N1.

June 27, 2022 - The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health announced it is closely monitoring a human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the Mainland. The case involves a 58-year-old male living in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, who had exposure to poultry from the market. He is in critical condition. From 2014 to date, 79 human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by Mainland health authorities.

June 17, 2022 - According to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the first case of HAPI was confirmed in a raccoon in North America.

June 9, 2022 - The World Organisation for Animal Health reported the European country of Bulgaria confirmed a HAPI H5 outbreak.

June 8, 2022 - The virus that causes HPAI has been found in mallard ducklings at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC.

June 8, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the detection of avian influenza in three nestling neotropical cormorants found by Arizona Game and Fish Department personnel responding to a report of dead birds in Eldorado Park in Scottsdale.

June 3, 2022 - According to the WOAH, Guinea reported its first high-path H5N1 outbreaks in five commercial farms in Kindia prefecture, located northeast of Conakry.

June 2, 2022 - The U.S. government (BARDA) officially recognized Seqirus's domestic manufacturing capability for cell-based seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines.

June 2, 2022 - The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of HPAI in a non-commercial backyard flock in Toombs County, Georgia. 

June 2, 2022 - The Macau SAR reported the Health Bureau stated that according to the latest notification from the China mainland health department, a total of 2 cases of human infection with H9N2 avian influenza were confirmed in Hunan and Guizhou provinces.

May 27, 2022 - To help ensure the U.S. can continue providing critical rapid response activities, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved the transfer of $400 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to support HAPI outbreak response efforts directly. Secretary Vilsack previously approved using approximately $130 million in mid-March and $263 million in late-April 2022.

May 23, 2022 - The World Organisation for Animal Health has analyzed the current global situation. The aggregated data show that avian influenza (bird flu) has spread more widely than in previous years.

May 18, 2022 - The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of HPAI in a non-commercial backyard flock in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

May 18, 2022 - The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health confirmed monitoring a fatal human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) in Baise City in Guangxi. 

May 17, 2022 - A bald eagle that recently died in the Sitka National Historical Park in Alaska tested positive for avian influenza. A second dead eagle was also tested for the HAPI virus; the results are pending. Cedarleaf said on May 18th, a fourth sick eagle was picked up at the Historical Park and euthanized. She suspects that the eagles caught the virus from gulls.

May 12, 2022 - HAPI infections were detected in Red Foxes located in Michigan and Minnesota. 

May 11, 2022 - Science Insider reported, 'In southwestern France, researchers will begin to immunize ducks with a newly developed vaccine. And in October 2022, stakeholders will gather at the World Organisation for Animal Health to discuss how to lower international barriers to shipping vaccinated poultry.

May 9, 2022 - The National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China reported the first human infection of the avian influenza A(H3N8) virus.

May 6, 2022 - The USDA and APHIS confirmed the presence of HPAI in non-commercial backyard flocks in Linn County, OregonPacific County, Washington.

May 4, 2022 - The National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed this week the presence of HPAI in a great horned owl at a rehabilitation facility in Wichita County, the first such confirmed case in a wild bird in Texas. This case of HPAI follows an April 2022 detection of HAPI in a commercial pheasant flock located in Erath County.

May 3, 2022 - The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship confirmed a positive case of HPAI in Bremer County, Iowa.

May 2, 2022 - The World Organisation for Animal Health reported 128 new poultry outbreaks in 12 countries, including Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

May 1, 2022 - The USDA and APHIS confirmed the presence of HPAI in birds in three additional states: Alaska, Oklahoma, and Vermont.

April 29, 2022 - The U.S. CDC issued Health Advisory #CDCHAN-00464 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus: Recommendations for Human Health Investigations and Response.

April 28, 2022 - The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced a test that revealed the presence of the influenza A (H5) virus in a single nasal specimen from a person working on a farm with infected poultry. The U.S. CDC confirmed the result on April 27, 2022. Because the person was in close contact with infected poultry, the HAPI virus may have been in the person's nose without causing infection. 

April 27, 2022 - To help ensure APHIS can continue to provide critical rapid response activities, U.S.> Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved the transfer of nearly $263 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS, directly supporting response efforts. The funding allows APHIS to continue its critical work with state and local partners to quickly identify and address cases of HPAI in the U.S.

April 26, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has completed a Draft Environmental Assessment (E.A.), "Emergency Response for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreaks in Seven States," a Draft Decision and Finding of No Significant Impact for the E.A.

April 20, 2022 - 'In areas with HPAI transmission in any avian species, consider pausing the use of bird feeders and baths for the next couple of months until the rate of virus transmission in wild birds dramatically decreases. This action will help protect those beautiful feathered creatures that visit your yard. Still, it will also help all wild bird species already having it hard this spring because of HPAI,' from The Raptor Center's Executive Director and Veterinary Epidemiologist, Dr. Victoria Hall, DVM, MS, DACVPM.

April 20, 2022 - The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health in Hong Kong confirmed the 13 H5N6 cases for 2022.

April 20, 2022 - The Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development advises that the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative has confirmed the presence of avian influenza in two wild bird samples in Manitoba.

April 16, 2022 - The USDA Animal and APHIS confirmed the presence of HPAI in Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

April 9, 2022 - The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of HPAI in a non-commercial backyard flock (poultry) in Pitkin County, Colorado, and on April 8, 2022, in two flocks in Montana – a non-commercial backyard flocks (poultry) in Cascade County, and Judith Basin County.

April 6, 2022 - Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection announced a man had contact with poultry before he contracted A.I. The man's illness marks China's 11th H5N6 case of the year. On April 9, 2022, the 12th case was confirmed.

April 3, 2022 - The Texas Animal Health Commission confirmed the presence of HPAI in a commercial pheasant flock in Erath County, Texas.

March 30, 2022 - The USDA and U.S. APHIS confirmed the presence of HPAI in a non-commercial, mixed-species backyard flock (non-poultry) in Berkshire County, MA; a non-commercial, mixed-species backyard flock (non-poultry) in Johnson County, WYO; a commercial poultry flock in Johnston County, NC; a non-commercial, backyard chicken flock (non-poultry) in Franklin County, OH; and a non-commercial, backyard chicken flock (poultry) in Kidder County, ND.

March 28, 2022 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the presence of HAPI H5N1 in a poultry flock in the Township of Zorra, Ontario. There are regular reports of HPAI in wild birds across North America, including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. Previously, on March 21, 2022, Ontario's agriculture ministry reported that a red-tailed hawk suffering from neurologic symptoms tested positive for H5N1.

March 26, 2022 - The USDA and APHIS confirmed the presence of HPAI in Minnesota flocks: a commercial turkey flock in Meeker County and a backyard mixed-species flock (non-poultry) in Mower County.

March 25, 2022 - The USDA recorded numerous avian influenza cases in five states last week. The largest outbreak was in Nebraska, where officials indicated 570,000 broiler chickens were depopulated, reported the A.P.

March 22, 2022 - Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection update VOLUME 18, NUMBER 12 - a young girl from Anhui province was recently confirmed with H9N2 avian flu infection.

March 21, 2022 - The USDA data dashboard indicates recent avian flu detections: in South Dakota, Maine, Iowa (5,347,511), Delaware, and Kansas. Since January 2022, about 9.5 million chickens and turkeys have been depopulated.

March 18, 2022 - The USDA has confirmed 385 positive wild bird detections and 38 appearances in poultry flocks involving the Eurasian H5N1 strain in 2022.

March 15, 2022 - Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection investigation revealed that a woman who had contact with domestic poultry got sick. China's number of H5N6 cases since 2014 has reached 74, including 10 cases in 2022. H5N6 is known to circulate in Asian countries, but only China and Laos have reported human cases.

March 14, 2022 - According to various reporting, there are now 14 states that have reported avian influenza cases in birds during 2022. Over the past week, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois.

March 8, 2022 - The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health reported two human fatalities related to avian influenza A(H5N6) infections in the Mainland.

March 6, 2022 - During the past week, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in non-commercial backyard flocks and commercial farms in Connecticut, Iowa, Missouri, Maryland, and South Dakota

February 28, 2022 - The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health confirmed it is closely monitoring four human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the Mainland. Updated on Mar. 1, 2022 - Weekly Report: VOLUME 18, NUMBER 09.

February 27, 2022 - The Alert Response Level under the China Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic was activated.

February 24, 2022 - The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and APHIS confirmed the presence of HPAI in a non-commercial backyard flock (non-poultry) in Kalamazoo County, Michigan.

February 23, 2022 - Indian health official issued updated #6 regarding the 5th avian flu farm outbreak. The total number of commercial turkeys affected in 2022 is 154,781

February 23, 2022 - The USDA and APHIS confirmed the presence of HPAI in a commercial poultry flock in New Castle County, Delaware.

February 22, 2022 - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) strain cases: H5 in a lesser scaup, black vultures, and other avian species. The FWC is investigating bird mortalities in Brevard, Indian River, and Volusia counties believed to be caused by HPAI. This strain has been documented in the U.S. since 2021 and was detected in hunter-harvested blue-winged teal in Palm Beach County in January 2022.

February 19, 2022 - The USDA and APHIS confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a non-commercial backyard flock (non-poultry) in Suffolk County, New York.

February 19, 2022 - Indiana confirmed its 4th fourth turkey farm (Greene2) diagnosed with avian influenza. Depopulation efforts are underway on the premises, which includes 15,200 birds. 

February 18, 2022 - The USDA reported 108 additional highly pathogenic H5 detections from wild bird surveillance on the East Coast of the U.S., including the initial detections in Connecticut and Georgia. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has now reported 247 detections in waterfowl.

February 17, 2022 - The Indiana State Board of Animal Health confirmed a third highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza outbreak at a turkey farm in Greene County. In total, about 103 thousand birds are being depopulated.  

February 16, 2022 - According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, India reported a highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreak in poultry, it's first since 2020.

February 15, 2022 - The Indiana Board of Animal Health confirmed preliminary testing identified H5 avian flu at a second turkey farm in Dubois County, not far from where an H5N1 outbreak was recently established. The total number of birds affected in Indiana has reached 55,473.

February 15, 2022 - The Hong Kong-based Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health announced it is closely monitoring two human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the Mainland, both involving people who had been exposed to poultry before they got sick.

February 14, 2022 - The U.K. published the Updated Outbreak Assessment #14 Highly pathogenic avian influenza in the U.K. and Europe.

February 14, 2022 - The WSJ reported that the USDA had identified deadly bird flu in U.S. flocks, including turkeys, which alerted the poultry industry.

February 11, 2022 - The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced the expansion of wild bird surveillance for avian influenza to the Mississippi and Central Flyways. 

February 9, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspective Service announced the first detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses in a U.S. commercial turkey flock.

February 7, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported (87) more highly pathogenic H5 or H5N1 avian flu detections in hunter-harvested birds on the East Coast of the U.S.

January 29, 2022 - Denmark's Statens Serum Institut detected a case of influenza in a citizen with a virus variant that probably originates from swine who worked at a Danish pig slaughterhouse. However, all indications are that this is a single case of infection. Therefore, it is not estimated that there is a risk of infection among people.

January 20, 2022 - The French Ministry of Agriculture and Food confirmed a preventive depopulation of poultry and waterfowl in the southwest, characterized by numerous outbreaks. The first outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in the South West was confirmed on December 16, 2021, on a duck farm in Gers. As of January 18, 2021, 291 outbreaks had been confirmed in the South West, compared to 216 on the same date this year.

January 13, 2022 - Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection announced it is monitoring six human avian influenza A(H5N6) cases in the China Mainland.