Different strains of avian influenza were found over the holiday season globally, according to two global health agencies that say the number of human infections appears to have decreased over time.
Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports that since December, the H5N6 strain of avian influenza has been reported in Hong Kong, the Netherlands, South Korea and Taiwan, in addition to H5N8 outbreaks in Italy and Russia. The World Organization for Animal Health says more than 32 million birds were lost or destroyed since its last report in September, and regional outbreaks include countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Europe.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it found no new cases of human infection with avian influenza in the Western Pacific Region between the last week of December and the first week of January, in its latest update. A total of 238 cases of human infection were reported in the area since January 2003, with 134 fatal cases. Globally, there were 860 cases of human infection of H5N in 16 countries worldwide between January 2003 and December 2017.
If there is a worldwide avian influenza outbreak it could mean consumers will look to other proteins.