The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published its annual zoonotic influenza epidemiological report for 2020.
No human cases of avian influenza were reported in the EU and EEA for 2020. Sporadic human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1), A(H5N6), A(H5N8) and A(H9N2) infection were reported. In 2020, outbreaks and detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, mainly A(H5) of clade 18.104.22.168, continued to affect poultry, wild and captured birds worldwide. Influenza virus A(H1N1)v, A(H1N2)v and A(H3N2)v of swine origin caused sporadic human cases in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, the Netherland, and the USA. Slightly more human cases were identified, possibly due to greater awareness, combined with more targeted testing in those with respiratory symptoms during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The ECDC also published its annual seasonal influenza epidemiological report for 2020 to 2021. For the EU and EEA, influenza activity remained at, or below, inter-seasonal levels throughout the 2020 to 2021 season, possibly due to the impact of the various public health and social measures implemented to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Sources: ECDC, 26 August 2021 and ECDC, 26 August 2021