Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has returned to the poultry sectors of China and Mexico, and new outbreaks of the disease have occurred in Bulgaria, India, Nepal, and Taiwan.

After an absence of almost seven years, HPAI of the H5N1 subtype has returned to Liaoning province in China.  According to the agriculture ministry’s official report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OEI), the affected farm in the Shenyang district was hit by the infection in the last week of March, leading to the loss of 1,000 birds through mortality, and the destruction of a further 24,472 to control the spread of the disease.  Source of the virus is unknown.

The cause of the new HPAI outbreak linked to the H7N3 virus variant in Mexico is also unknown.  Mexico had reportedly been free of the disease for almost one year when there was an outbreak in a backyard flock of 150 birds in early March.  All the birds died at the location in the municipality of Acolman, which is part of the greater Mexico City area.

The Odisha state in eastern India suffered a series of eight outbreaks of HPAI linked to the H5N1 virus at the end of last year.  The disease appears to have surfaced again at a government duck breeding farm.  Since March, Nepal has reported a series of HPAI outbreaks caused by the same virus variant.

Taiwan’s ongoing battle to control outbreaks of HPAI linked to the H5N2 virus continues.  Seven new outbreaks during the second half of March were reported to the OIE by the Council of Agriculture.  Those outbreaks led to the loss of almost 42,500 poultry through death or destruction to control further spread of the disease.

There has been one new confirmed case of avian influenza (H7N9) in China, according to the Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong.  At the time of the report, the patient, a man aged 82, was in serious condition.  This is the first case of the disease since October 2018, and brings the total number of confirmed cases since March of 2013 to 1,568.