No evidence of HPAI emergence in Australia in 2020

The global panzootic of highly pathogenic avian influenza (or bird flu) continues, and has thus far resulted in the death or destruction of half a billion domestic birds. This virus is now present on every continent, with the exception of Australia and Antarctica.

With the support of the VWSG, Prof Marcel Klaassen and Dr. Michelle Wille report no evidence that bird flu arrived in Australia between September and December 2022 with the arrival of waders. Approximately 600 waders were sampled in Broome and King Island during this period, all of which tested negative. Their results were outlined in a short report in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.

Australia will again enter a high-risk period coinciding with the return of waders between September and December 2023, and the VWSG will once again support Prof Klaassen and Dr. Wille in their sampling efforts.