Mammals Infected With Bird Flu March 2023

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Last reviewed
March 22, 2023
Content Overview
Dolphins, foxes, bears, otters, skunks, seals, sea lions have been infected with Highly pathogenic avian influenza bird flu H5N1 viruses in March 2023.

Mammals Infected With Bird Flu March 2023

Mammalian infections with the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HAPI) virus are a global epidemic, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the Technical Reported issued on March 17, 2023, states because of the potential for influenza viruses (bird flu) to rapidly evolve and the vast global prevalence of HPAI A(H5N1) viruses in wild birds and poultry outbreaks, continued sporadic human infections are anticipated. 

The European CDC's Communicable Disease recent Threats Report and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHOEpidemiological Update, and the World Organisation for Animal Health stated on February 13, 2023, confirm the current bird flu situation raises concerns within the international community.

On February 8, 2023, the JAMA Network published: Bird Flu Has Begun to Spread in Mammals—Here's What's Important to Know.

Canada Mammals Infected With Bird Flu

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. And on August 30, 2022, a case of H5N1 infection in a black bear was confirmed in Quebec, Canada. On Prince Edward Island, HAPI was found in skunks and foxes in 2022, reported the Canadian Wildlife Health Co-operative.

Central American Mammals Infected With Bird Flu

Mexico: On October 30, 2022, Mexico (Senasica) reported an H5N1 avian flu outbreak at a commercial poultry farm in Nuevo Leon state. However, the presence of avian influenza H5N1 does not represent consuming chicken and eggs.

Belize: On September 13, 2022, Belize reported a HAPI outbreak the resulted in the culling of a local flock.

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: Local media reported a Humboldt penguin was confirmed with HAPI. BNONews reported on March 7, 2023, one marine otter and three sea lions died of H5N1 avian influenza in Chile. 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: According to a BNO News update on March 2, 2023, from the agriculture ministry, at least 3,487 sea lions have been found dead in seven Peru natural areas since November 2022. Senasa also indicated that they found 46 outbreaks of bird flu (14,000 pelicans) detected in domestic birds from Lambayeque, Cajamarca, La Libertad, Áncash, Lima, and Ica.

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.

USA Mammals With Bird Flu

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the World Animal Health Information System reported, during March 2023, over 131 HAPI H5N1 detections in mammals such as wild striped skunks, black bears, raccoons, and red foxes.

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 confirmed case of HPAI in mammals in Texas.

In Colorado, HPAI was detected in the wild (raptors), domestic birds in Larimer County in January 2023, and 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 wildlife (black bear, skunk, mountain lion). 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 detected 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.

October 31, 2022, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory 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) 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.