Mammals Infected With Bird Flu 2023

Authored by
Last reviewed
May 30, 2023
Content Overview
May 2023 Bird flu H5N1 viruses have infected bears, cats, dogs, dolphins, foxes, otters, raccoons, seals, sea lions, skunks

Mammals Infected With Bird Flu May 2023

Mammalian infections with the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HAPI) virus are a global concern in May 2023, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is tracking HPAI infections in mammals in 2023. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Reported issued on March 17, 2023, states because HAPI viruses (bird flu) are evolving, various mammals are at risk. Furthermore, the European CDC's Communicable Disease Threats Report, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHOEpidemiological Update, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) stated that bears, cats, dogs, dolphins, ferrets, foxes, minks, sea lions, skunks, and other mammals had been infected with HAPI viruses in 2023.

Canada Mammals Infected With Bird Flu

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responding to cases of H5N1 HPAI in birds and mammals across Canada. CFIA says the number of documented H5N1 cases in non-avian species is low. However, on April 1, 2023, CFIA confirmed a dog in Oshawa, Ontario, contracted the avian flu and died. The dog was infected with bird flu after chewing on a wild goose. And on August 30, 2022, an H5N1 infection in a black bear was confirmed in Quebec, Canada. 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. In addition, HAPI was found in skunks and foxes in Prince Edward Island in 2022, reported the Canadian Wildlife Health Co-operative.

Europe Mammals Infected With Bird Flu

France reported an outbreak of HAPI among red foxes and gulls northeast of Paris in March 2023. In addition, the HAPI virus infected a cat in France in December 2022. Spain reported in Eurosurveillance on January 19, 2023, a HAPI outbreak occurred on a mink (Neovison vison) farm in Carral in October 2022. This finding shows that the H5N1 strain can spread from one infected mammal to another.

Previously, Norway reported H5N1 for the first time in mammals (foxes); according to a study posted on July 25, 2022, and in June 2022, a harbor porpoise became stranded off the west coast of Sweden (58.64817 N, 11.28973 E).

South American Mammals Infected With Bird Flu

Countries in South America have confirmed outbreaks of the HAPI virus in 2023, and the Pan American Health Organization issued an Epidemiological Alert.

Chile: AFP reported Sernapesca stated in May 2023, more than 7,600 sea lions, 1,186 Humboldt penguins, otters, porpoises, and dolphins had been found dead along Chile's coast. Previously, local media in Chile reported on February 26, 2023, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) reported a sea lion weighing about 250 kilos with respiratory problems was found on a beach in the northern region of Antofagasta. Previously, Reuters reported various mammals and birds infected with HAPI in Chile.

Peru: A non-peer-reviewed study reported on March 3, 2023, the complete genomic characterization of HPAI/H5N1 viruses in five species of marine mammals and seabirds (dolphins, sea lions, sanderlings, pelicans, and cormorants) sampled since November 2022. This is the first report of HPAI A/H5N1 in marine birds and mammals from South America, highlighting an urgent need for active local surveillance to manage 40 outbreaks and limit spillover into humans. All Peruvian viruses belong to the HPAI A/H5N1 lineage, but they are 4:4 reassortants where 33 genomic segments (PA, HA, NA, and MP) position within the Eurasian lineage that initially entered North America from Eurasia, while the otherfour4 genomic segments (PB2, PB1, NP, and NS) position within the American lineage (clade C) that was already circulating in North America. Peruvian viruses do not contain PB2 E627K or D701N 37 mutations linked to mammalian host adaptation and enhanced transmission, but at least eight novel, 38 polymorphic sites warrant further examination.

United Kingdom Mammals Infected With Bird Flu

The U.K.'s Animal and Plant Health Agency reported on March 15, 2023; dolphins were found dead on beaches in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and Devon, Britain. The BBC reported on February 2, 2023, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) had found nine otters and foxes were positive for HPAI H5N1. Cases have been found in Durham, Cheshire, and Cornwall in England; Powys in Wales; Shetland, the Inner Hebrides and Fife, Scotland (Scottish otters).

The UKHSA published the fourth update on February 1, 2023, Research and analysis - Confirmed findings of influenza of avian origin in non-avian wildlife in England, Scotland, and Wales. In 2022, the U.K. announced it had faced its largest-ever bird flu outbreak, with over 170 cases confirmed since late October 2021. The wild bird risk across Great Brained is medium, and the risk to poultry with stringent bios is low. However, birdkeepers should follow enhanced measures at all times to prevent the risk of future outbreaks.

United States Mammals With Bird Flu

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the World Animal Health Information System reported over 191 HAPI H5N1 detections in mammals such as striped skunks, black bears, raccoons, and red foxes as of May 26, 2023. In addition, cats near Thermopolis, WY, Buffalo County, Nebraska, and Oregon were reported with bird flu infections in March/April 2023.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed on March 21, 2023, the presence of HPAI in a striped skunk recovered from Carson County. This is the first documented case of HPAI in mammals in Texas. In Colorado, HPAI was detected in skunks in March 2023. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife received confirmation on February 15, 2023, that an adult bobcat died from the Eurasian strain of HPAI H5N1. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed on February 9, 2023, several cases of HPAI in free-ranging black bears, skunks, and mountain lions. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks confirmed on January 17, 2023, three juvenile grizzly bears tested positive for HAPI. In 2022, a fox and a skunk tested positive for HPAI in Montana. The State of Alaska reported on December 13, 2022, HPAI had been detected in a brown bear cub on Kodiak Island, Alaska. On November 18, 2022, HPAI was seen in a black bear cub in Southeast Alaska. And the University of Florida confirmed a HAPI infection killed a bottlenose dolphin on September 7, 2022. And on October 31, 2022, the NVSL confirmed H5N1 HPAI in hunter-harvested blue-winged teal in southwest Louisiana. Additionally, red fox infections were confirmed in Michigan and Minnesota, bald eagles in Alaska, skunks and raccoons in Washington, and seals near Maine in July 2022.

Bird Flu Outbreaks

Bird flu (avian influenza) HAPI outbreaks have been confirmed since 2003. Updated news is posted at

Bird Flu Vaccines For Humans

Avian influenza (bird flu) vaccines are listed on this web page.