Home / Surveillance programmes / Poultry - Avian influenza

Avian influenza

HPAI (high pathogenicity avian influenza) has never been reported or diagnosed in Norway.

The aim of the national surveillance and control programme for AI in poultry is to document that the various poultry populations in Norway are free of influenza A virus of sub-types H5 and H7 and to contribute to the maintenance of this status. Also wild bird populations have been periodically surveyed.

AI is a serious, highly contagious disease of poultry and other captive birds caused by many different subtypes of influenza type A viruses. The level of risks posed by the different subtypes for animal and public health is variable due to rapid virus mutation and possible re-assortment of the genetic material between different subtypes.

The health risks posed by the so-called Low Pathogenic AI (LPAI) viruses are lower than that posed by Highly Pathogenic AI (HPAI) viruses. The HPAI viruses originate from a mutation of LPAI viruses of either H5 or H7 subtype. HPAI can cause disease in poultry resulting in mortality rates exceeding 90 %.

In general, domestic poultry populations are free from AI viruses. However, wild waterfowls are the natural reservoirs for all influenza A virus subtypes. Infected waterfowl do not usually develop clinical disease, but may shed large amounts of virus upon infection.