Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus Clade Infections in Wild Terrestrial Mammals, United States, 2022

We describe the pathology of natural infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus of Eurasian lineage Goose/Guangdong clade in 67 wild terrestrial mammals throughout the United States during April 1?July 21, 2022. Affected mammals include 50 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 6 striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), 4 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 2 bobcats (Lynx rufus), 2 Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), 1 coyote (Canis latrans), 1 fisher (Pekania pennanti), and 1 gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). Infected mammals showed primarily neurologic signs. Necrotizing meningoencephalitis, interstitial pneumonia, and myocardial necrosis were the most common lesions; however, species variations in lesion distribution were observed. Genotype analysis of sequences from 48 animals indicates that these cases represent spillover infections from wild birds.