On 5 January 2022, high pathogenicity avian influenza A(H5N1) was confirmed in an individual who kept a large flock of ducks at their home in England. The individual remained asymptomatic. H5N1 was confirmed in 19/20 sampled live birds on 22 December 2021. Comprehensive contact tracing (n = 11) revealed no additional primary cases or secondary transmissions. Active surveillance of exposed individuals is essential for case identification. Asymptomatic swabbing helped refine public health risk assessment and facilitated case management given changes in avian influenza epidemiology.
Keywords: avian influenza; influenza A(H5N1); whole genome sequencing.