- It is a highly contagious viral disease which has swept populations of birds and mammals across the world.
- Since 2021, its variant known as HPAI H5N1 clade 22.214.171.124b has been dominated and caused outbreaks, leading to the deaths of millions of birds in the United Kingdom, South America, Europe and South Africa.
- In October 2023, bird flu arrived in the sub-Antarctic region after travelling from South America through sea birds.
- It infected elephants and fur seals, brown skua, penguins, pelicans, sea lions and kelp gulls among others, resulting in mass infection and mortality.
- In December 2023, the first death of a polar bear due to avian flu was reported from the Arctic.