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H5N8 HPAI GLOBAL situation update

23 October 2019, 17:00 hours; Rome

Kindly note that we are changing this update into a Global Avian Influenza Update focusing on strains with zoonotic potential. The latest issue can be found HERE


Information provided herein is current as of the date of issue. Information added or changed since the last H5N8 situation update appears in red. Human cases are depicted in the geographic location of their report. For some cases, exposure may have occurred in one geographic location but reported in another. For cases with unknown onset date, reporting date was used instead. FAO compiles information drawn from multiple national (Ministries of Agriculture or Livestock, Ministries of Health, Provincial Government websites; Centers for Disease Prevention and Control [CDC]) and international sources (World Health Organization [WHO], World Organisation for Animal Health [OIE]) as well as peer-reviewed scientific articles. FAO makes every effort to ensure, but does not guarantee, accuracy, completeness or authenticity of the information. The designation employed and the presentation of material on the map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal or constitutional status of any country, territory or sea area, or concerning the delimitation of frontiers.



Situation: H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) 2016 virus in Africa, Asia, Europe and Middle East with pandemic potential.
Confirmed countriesx: Austria*, Belgium*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*,Bulgaria*, Cameroon*, China, Croatia*, Cyprus, the Czech Republic*, Democratic Republic of the Congo*, Denmark*, Egypt*, Finland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, France*, Germany*, Greece*, Hungary*, India*, Iran (Islamic Republic of)*, Iraq*, Ireland, Israel*, Italy*, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea*, Kuwait*, Lithuania, Luxembourg*, Namibia, Nepal*, the Netherlands*, Niger*, Nigeria*, Pakistan, Poland*, Portugal, Romania*, Russian Federation*, Saudi Arabia*, Serbia*, Slovakia*, Slovenia, South Africa*, Spain*, Sweden*, Switzerland, Tunisia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland*, Uganda*, Ukraine* and Zimbabwe*.

Number of human cases: None reported to date.

Countries reporting new events since the last update: No new events.


x Reports of H5N8 HPAI events in Taiwan, Province of China, are not included in this update since the virus belongs to a genetically different strain.

* Countries in which the virus was detected in poultry.

Map 1. H5N8 HPAI events officially reported in Asia, Europe and Africa by onset date

H5N8 HPAI events officially reported in Asia, Europe and Africa by onset date
Click to enlarge - Note: The large map shows confirmed H5N8 HPAI events observed since 01 October 2018; the small map in the insert shows confirmed events observed between 01 October 2017 and 30 September 2018.

Map 2. Global context: H5Nx HPAI events officially reported since 01 October 2019Global context: H5Nx HPAI events officially reported since 01 October 2018
Click to enlarge - Note: The outbreak of H5N2 HPAI in Taiwan Province of China was observed on 28/09/2019, i.e. in the previous wave.


For a list of bird species affected by H5N8 HPAI see Update 27/02/2019


 FAO's support to countries

Global level

  • EMPRES news, 27 March 2019: Update on FAO’s H5N8 HPAI assessment for Southern Africa [link]
  • Report of the WHO Vaccine Composition Meeting February 2019 [link]
  • Focus On “2016–2018 Spread of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in sub-Saharan Africa: epidemiological and ecological observations” – August 2018 [link]
  • Risk Assessment in February 2017 addressing H5N8 HPAI in Uganda and the risk of spread to neighbouring countries [link]
  • Press release on H5N8 HPAI in Uganda on 1 February 2017, the first time that HPAI was confirmed in the East Africa region [link]
  • Focus On “Highly Pathogenic H5 Avian Influenza in 2016 and 2017 – Observations and future perspectives” [link]
  • A webinar titled Intercontinental spread of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza – Analysis of the current situation and recommendations for preventive action, targeting national veterinary services and FAO regional and country teams, was conducted by FAO on 24 November 2016 [link]
  • EMPRES Watch, September 2016: H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of clade detected through surveillance of wild migratory birds in the Tyva Republic, the Russian Federation – potential for international spread [link]
  • EMPRES news, 4 November 2016: H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza detected in Hungary and in the Republic of India H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza detected in Hungary and in the Republic of India [link]

Regional level

  • FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia news, November 2016: Highly pathogenic avian influenza spreading in Europe, South Asia [link]
  • FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia news, September 2016: Emergent Avian Influenza virus detected in surveillance of migratory birds in Russian Federation (FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia news [link]


Recent Publications

Arikawa, G., Fujii, Y., Abe, M., Mai, N. T., Mitoma, S., Notsu, K., […], & Sekiguchi, S. Meteorological factors affecting the risk of transmission of HPAI in Miyazaki, Japan. Veterinary record open, 6(1), e000341. [reference]. This study aimed at showing the relationship between annual bird migration and annual weather in Japan. A model was established for the number of migratory waterfowl involved in HPAI virus transmission based on meteorological data. From 136 species of waterfowl that were observed at Futatsudate in Miyazaki, Japan, from 2008 to 2016, ten potential high-risk species that could introduce the HPAI virus into Miyazaki were selected and defined as ‘risky birds’. Three meteorological factors associated with their migration were identified.


Usui, T., Soda, K., Sumi, K., Ozaki, H., Tomioka, Y., Ito, H., […], & Yamaguchi, T. Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in zoo birds caused by HA clade H5N6 subtype viruses in Japan in winter 2016. Transboundary and Emerging diseases, 2019 Oct 11. [reference]. The publication describes the epidemiological context of two H5N6 HPAI outbreaks that affected captive zoo birds in northern and central Japan in 2016. Isolation of two H5N6 subtype HPAI viruses from an openair pond where affected zoo birds were previously housed at Higashiyama Zoo strongly indicates a wild waterfowl origin of the virus. The phylogenetic relationships of the 18 isolates indicated direct viral transmission among birds within each zoo.


Ali, A.M., Samy, M.M., Fasina, F.O., Hassan, M.K., Kilany, W.H., El-Mahdy, S., […], & Jobre Y. Field evaluation of common poultry viral vaccines in Egypt: a need for reassessment of the vaccine value chain. Veterinaria Italiana, 2019 Sep 30;55(3):231-239. [reference]. In this study, they conducted a biological evaluation of selected viral vaccines of poultry in three governorates in Egypt. Fifty-four percent of the vaccines had reduced vaccine titres and the effect of secondary vaccine distributions was associated with the observed vaccine titres. External contamination was observed in some vaccines and interruption of the cold chain was reported. No vaccine distributor used a purpose-built vaccine refrigerator or a prescribed protocol for vaccine handling and none kept record of vaccine handling.


Sangkachai, N., Thongdee, M., Chaiwattanarungruengpaisan, S., Buddhirongawatr, R., Chamsai, T., Poltep, K., […], & Paungpin, W. Serological evidence of influenza virus infection in captive wild felids, Thailand. The Journal of veterinary medical science, 81(9), 1341–1347. [reference]. The study explored the prevalence of influenza viruses in felid species. 196 archived sera from five felid species collected between 2011 and 2015 in 10 provinces of Thailand were examined for the presence of antibodies to avian and human influenza viruses. The observed seropositivity rates of H5 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus, H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus and human-origin H1 virus were 1.53% (3/196), 2.04% (4/196) and 6.63% (13/196), respectively.


Recommendations for affected countries and those at risk

Please refer to the Update published on 11 October 2017 for a list of recommendations.