Incident Information

Information is available on a number of current wildlife health incidents in Australia, as well as selected long-term health investigations and historic wildlife health incidents. Detailed information is available in the national electronic Wildlife Health Information System (eWHIS).

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Jun, 26 2024 | High pathogenicity avian influenza

High pathogenicity avian influenza H7 outbreaks in poultry, Victoria, NSW and ACT - May & June 2024

The response to several different high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) viruses (strain H7) in poultry in Victoria, NSW and ACT, is ongoing. The HPAI strains detected in Victoria, NSW and ACT are not the H5 strain that is impacting wild birds, mammals (both wild and domestic) and poultry overseas. The HPAI H7 detections in Australia have a distinctly different epidemiology to H5 The Vic outbreak is not related to the NSW/ACT outbreak.

Prior to 2024, there were eight outbreaks due to HPAI viruses in Australian poultry, since 1976, all H7 strain. The previous eight outbreaks were all successfully eradicated.

There have been no reports of mass wild bird deaths in relation to the H7 outbreaks in Vic, NSW and ACT. HPAI has never been detected in wild birds in Australia. Enhanced bird surveillance is underway in Vic, NSW and ACT and monitoring of wild bird populations will continue.  Enhanced bird surveillance is underway in Vic, NSW and ACT and monitoring of wild bird populations will continue. Wildlife Health Australia supports wild bird surveillance for avian influenza (AI) by coordinating the National Avian Influenza Wild Bird (NAIWB) Steering Group. NAIWB members regularly undertake testing of wild birds for avian influenza. This surveillance continues to show presence of a wide range of low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus strains in Australian wild birds, without signs of disease. Sometimes LPAI viruses can spill over from wild birds into poultry populations and may then mutate into HPAI strains within poultry. With over 140,000 tests having been undertaken, no HPAI viruses have been identified in Australian wild birds. Worldwide, HPAI H7 viruses are very rarely detected in wild birds. See also WHA update on avian influenza and wild birds, WHA Fact Sheet: Avian influenza and wild birds or Wild Bird Surveillance for more information.

Any biosecurity action must be undertaken in line with current legislation and government legal orders or advice. This includes orders relating to the current HPAI H7 outbreaks.

In the current situation, where HPAI H5 has not been detected in Australia, please continue to practice good biosecurity and report sick and dead wild birds as per our advice document for veterinary personnel. See the National Wildlife Biosecurity Guidelines and the National Zoo Biosecurity Manual for more information on general biosecurity practices to manage infectious disease risk in wildlife, domestic animals and humans.

Any unusual illness or death in wild birds should be reported via the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.

For more information on the outbreak in poultry, see the Outbreak webpage and

Avian influenza viruses do not normally infect humans. Rarely, some strains are associated with disease in humans ranging from mild illness to severe disease and death (see Australian Department of Health and Aged Care).

For more information on high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses in general, see the WHA incident information page High pathogenicity avian influenza information H5N1 global outbreak which provides links to information sheets, videos, toolkits and other resources.

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