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ARCHIVE H5N8 HPAI GLOBAL situation update

07 February 2018, 15.:30 hours; Rome

The next update will be issued on 07 March 2018


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 countries*: 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*,Nepal*, the Netherlands*, Niger*, Nigeria*, 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.


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 2017; the small map in the insert shows confirmed events observed between 01 June 2016 and 30 September 2017

Map 2. Global context: H5Nx HPAI events officially reported worldwide between 01 October 2017 and 07 February 2018H5N8 HPAI events officially reported in Asia, Europe and Africa by onset date
Click to enlarge - Note: *Note: Islamic Rep. of Iran has officially reported H5N8 HPAI outbreaks but no exact locations are available


Bird species affected by H5N8 HPAI

Domestic birds species affected

Anas platyrhynchos domesticus (Duck)

Anserinae sp. (Goose)

Gallus gallus domesticus (Chicken)

Meleagris gallopavo (Turkey)



Farmed wildlife species affected
(Private collections, displays or production)

Dromaius novaeollandiae (Emu)

Pavo cristatus (Peacock)

Rhea americana (Greater Rhea)

Grus paradisea (Blue Crane)

Perdicinae (Partridge)

Struthio camelus (Ostrich)

Numida meleagris (Common Guineafowl)

Phasianus colchicus (Common Pheasant)


Wild Birds species affected

Involved in transmission

Anas clypeata (Northern Shoveler)

Anser anser (Greylag Goose)

Cygnus columbianus (Tundra Swan)

Anas crecca (Common Teal)

Anser brachyrhynchus (Pink-footed Goose)

Cygnus cygnus (Whooper swan)

Anas falcata (Falcated Duck)

Anser fabalis (Been Goose)

Cygnus olor (Mute Swan)

Anas penelope (Eurasian Wigeon)

Aythya ferina (Common Pochard)

Marmaronetta angustirostris (Marbled teal)

Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)

Aythya fuligula (Tufted Duck)

Netta rufina (Red-crested Pochard)

Anas strepera (Gadwall)

Aythya nyroca (Ferruginous Pochard)

Tadorna tadorna (Common Shelduck)

Anas undulata (Yellow-billed Duck)

Aythyinae or Anatinae sp. (Wild Duck)


Anser albifrons (Greater White-fronted Goose)

Bucephala clangula (Common Goldeneye)


Accidental hosts

Alopochen aegyptiaca (Egyptian Goose)

Columbidae sp. (Pigeon)

Platalea leucorodia (Eurasian Spoonbill)

Anser erythropus (Lesser white-fronted goose)

Cygnus atratus (Black Swan)

Plectopterus gambensis (Spur-winged Goose)

Ardea alba (Great Egret)

Egretta garzetta (Little Egret)

Plegadis falcinellus (Glossy Ibis)

Ardea cinerea (Grey Heron)

Fulica atra (Common Coot)

Ploceus velatus (Southern Masked-Weaver)

Ardea melanocephala (Black-headed Heron)

Gallinula chloropus (Common Moorhen)

Podiceps cristatus (Great Cested Grebe)

Balearica regulorum (Crowned crane)

Grus grus (Common Crane)

Recurvirostra avosetta (Pied avocet)

Botaurus stellaris (Eurasian bittern)

Grus japonensis (Red-crowned Crane)

Somateria mollissima (Eider)

Branta canadensis (Canada Goose )

Himantopus himantopus (Black-winged Stilt)

Spheniscus demersus (Jackass Penguin)

Bubulcus ibis (Western Cattle Egret)

Lonchura sp. (Munia)

Sterna hirundo (Common Tern)

Cairina moschata (Muscovy Duck)

Mycteria leucocephala (Painted Stork)

Streptopella senegalensis (Laughing Dove)

Calidris minuta (Little stint)

Numenius arquata (Eurasian Curlew)

Streptopella decaocto (Eurasian Collared Dove)

Charadrius alexandrines (Kentish Plover)

Numenius sp.( Curlew)

Sturnus vulgaris (Common Starling)

Charadrius dubius (Little ringed plover)

Passer domesticus (House Sparrow)

Tachybaptus ruficollis (Little Grebe)

Charadrius hiaticula ( Common ringed plover)

Pavo cristatus (Indian Peafowl)

Threskiornis aethiopicus (Sacred Ibis)

Chlidonias leucoptera (White-winged Black Tern)

Pelecanus onocrotalus (Great White Pelican)

Tringa glareola (Wood Sandpiper)

Ciconia ciconia (White Stork)

Pelecanus sp. (Pelican)

Tringa ochropus (Green Sandpiper)

Ciconiidae sp. (Stork)

Phalacrocorax carbo (Great Cormorant)

Turdus merula (Eurasian Blackbird)

Columba guinea (African rock pigeon)

Phalacrocorax pygmaeus (Pygmy Cormorant)

Turdus philomelos (Song Thrush)

Columba palumbus (Common Wood-Pigeon) Philomachus pugnax (Ruff) Turdus pilaris (Fieldfare)
Columbia livia (Rock Pigeon) Phoenicopterus roseus (Greater Flamingo)  
Scavenger birds and birds of prey

Accipiter gentilis (Northern Goshawk)

Corvus cornix (Hooded Crow)

Larus argentatus (Herring Gull)

Accipiter nisus (Eurasian Sparrowhawk)

Corvus frugilegus (Rook)

Larus fuscus (Lesser Black-backed Gull)

Accipiter nisus (Eurasian Sparrowhawk)

Corvus sp. (Crow)

Larus marinus (Great black-backed Gull)

Asio otus (Long Eared Owl)

Falco cherrug (Saker Falcon)

Larus michahellis (Yellow-legged Gull)

Bubo africanus (Spotted Eagle-Owl)

Falco peregrinus (Peregrine Falcon)

Pica pica (Common Magpie)

Bubo bubo (Eurasian Eagle-Owl)

Falco tinnunculus (Common Kestrel)

Strigiformes (Owl)

Buteo buteo (Common Buzzard)

Falco vespertinus (Red-footed Falcon)

Tyto alba (Common Barn-Owl)

Buteo rufofuscus (Jackal Buzzard)

Haliaeetus albicilla (White Tailed Eagle)

Chroicocephalus ridibundus (Black-headed Gull)

Laridae (Gull)

Corvus albidae (Pied Crow)

Larus argentatus (Herring Gull)

Corvus Corax (Common Raven)

Larus armenicus (Armenian Gull)

Corvus cornix (Hooded Crow)

Larus canus (Mew Gull)

Note: For each bird species, common name, genus and species name are listed. Species in subcategories are listed in alphabetic order, by their Latin name.Note: For each bird species, common name, genus and species name are listed. Species in subcategories are listed in alphabetic order, by their Latin name.



 FAO's support to countries

Global level

  • 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]
  • Report of the WHO Vaccine Composition Meeting September 2016 [link] and March 2017 [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

Lee YN, Lee EK, Song BM, Heo GB, Woo SH, Cheon SH, Lee YJ. Evaluation of the zoonotic potential of multiple subgroups of clade influenza A (H5N8) virus. Virology. 2018 Jan 8;516:38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2017.12.037. [reference] This paper examines the zoonotic potential, both in vivo and in vitro, of genetically distinct subgroups of H5N8 HPAIVs isolated in South Korea. Although H5N8 HPAIVs have not yet acquired all the characteristics required for adaptation to mammals, their ability to evolve continuously underscores the need for timely risk assessment


Beerens N, Koch G, Heutink R, Harders F, Vries DPE, Ho C, Bossers A, Elbers A. Novel Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N6) Virus in the Netherlands, December 2017. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Apr 17;24(4). doi: 10.3201/eid2404.172124. [reference] A novel highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N6) virus affecting wild birds and commercial poultry was detected in the Netherlands in December 2017. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the virus is a reassortant of H5N8 clade viruses and not related to the Asian H5N6 viruses that caused human infections.


Pohlmann A, Starick E, Grund C, Höper D, Strebelow G, Globig A, Staubach C, Conraths FJ, Mettenleiter TC, Harder T, Beer M. Swarm incursions of reassortants of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus strains H5N8 and H5N5, clade, Germany, winter 2016/17. Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 8;8(1):15. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-16936-8. [reference] The outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5Nx viruses in winter 2016/2017 was the most severe HPAI epizootic ever reported in Germany. The H5N8 and H5N5 viruses detected in birds in Germany in 2016/2017 represent a reassortant swarm of at least five distinct genotypes, which carried closely related HA segments derived from clade The genotypes of these viruses and their spatio-temporal distribution indicated a unique situation with multiple independent entries of HPAIV into Germany.


Herfst S, Mok CKP, van den Brand JMA, van der Vliet S, Rosu ME, Spronken MI, Yang Z, de Meulder D, Lexmond P, Bestebroer TM, Peiris JSM, Fouchier RAM, Richard M. Human Clade A/H5N6 Influenza Virus Lacks Mammalian Adaptation Markers and Does Not Transmit via the Airborne Route between Ferrets. mSphere. 2018 Jan 3;3(1). pii: e00405-17. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00405-17. eCollection 2018 Jan-Feb. [reference] In this study, the characterization of A/H5N6 A/Guangzhou/39715/2014 virus in vitro and in ferrets is described. After intranasal inoculation, A/H5N6 virus replicated to high titers in the respiratory tracts of ferrets and was excreted for at least 6 days. Moreover, A/H5N6 virus caused severe pneumonia in ferrets upon intratracheal inoculation. Thus, A/H5N6 virus causes a more severe disease in ferrets than previously investigated clade viruses, but our results demonstrate that the risk from airborne spread is currently low.


Globig A, Staubach C, Sauter-Louis C, Dietze K, Homeier-Bachmann T, Probst C, Gethmann J, Depner KR, Grund C, Harder TC, Starick E, Pohlmann A, Hoeper D, Beer M, Mettenleiter TC and Conraths FJ (2018). Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 Clade in Germany in 2016/2017. Front. Vet. Sci. 4:240. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00240[reference] This study reports on the occurrence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5Nx clade in Germany between November 8, 2016, and September 30, 2017, the most severe HPAI epidemic recorded in Germany so far.


Recommendations for affected countries and those at risk

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