AG index page FAO homepage
Print this page | Close

ARCHIVE Global AIV with Zoonotic Potential situation update

26 February 2020, 17:00 hours; Rome

The next update will be issued on 25 March 2020


Information provided herein is current as of the date of issue. Information added or changed since the last Global AIV 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: This update covers avian influenza viruses with zoonotic potential occurring worldwide; i.e.  H5Nx, H7Nx highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses and H5Nx, H6N1, H7Nx, H9N2, H10N7, H10N8 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).


Specific information is available for Chinese-origin H7N9 viruses and HPAI viruses in sub-Saharan Africa in related FAO Avian Influenza situation updates.


HPAI outbreaks in animals reported since last update (18 December 2019): in total, 64 outbreaks have been reported in two geographic regions (Europe and Asia) caused by H5N1 HPAI (7), H5N2 HPAI (6), H5N5 HPAI (2), H5N6 HPAI (29), and H5N8 HPAI (20) (see Table 1 for details).


Number of human cases since last update (18 December 2019): 1 human case has been reported in Hong Kong SAR, caused by an influenza A(H9) virus.

Map 1. Global distribution of AIV with zoonotic potential observed in the period 01 October 2019 to 26 February 2020 (i.e. current wave)

Click to enlarge - Note: In the event of similar geographical locations of outbreaks, symbols may overlap.

Map 2. Global distribution of AIV with zoonotic potential observed in the period 01 October 2018 to 26 February 2019 (i.e. previous wave)
Click to enlarge - Note: In the event of similar geographical locations of outbreaks, symbols may overlap.


Table 1. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A Viruses: events reported in animals since 29 January 2020




Last observed outbreak

Previous observed outbreak

Total #outbreaks during the current AI season (since 1 October 2019)

Species affected during the outbreaks observed

H5N1 China 01/02/2020 31/03/2019
reported date)
1 Chicken
India 20/01/2020 07/12/2019 2 Unspecified (domestic)
Viet Nam 19/02/2020 16/02/2020 5 Unspecified (domestic)
H5N2 China (Taiwan Province) 13/02/2020 12/02/2020 36 Chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks
H5N5 China (Taiwan Province) 13/02/2020 11/01/2020 12 Chickens
H5N6 China 02/02/2020 21/02/2020 6 Wild birds, unspecified (domestic)
Viet Nam 21/02/2020 20/02/2020 30 Unspecified (domestic)
H5N8 Bulgaria 24/02/2020 17/02/2020 3 Domestic ducks, chickens
Czech Republic 16/02/2020 17/01/2020 2 Unspecified (domestic), turkeys
Germany 06/02/2020 20/01/2020
(reporting date)
2 Wild, unspecified (domestic)
Israel 27/01/2020 20/04/2019 1 Wild bird
Poland 22/02/2020 21/02/2020 27 Ducks, Cchickens, turkeys, wild birds
Saudi Arabia 30/01/2020 17/07/2018 1 Unspecified (domestic)
Slovakia 28/01/2020 24/01/2020 4 Unspecified (domestic)


Table 2. Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza A Viruses: events reported in animals or environment since 29 January 2020




Last detection

Previous detection

H5Nx* Republic of Korea 12/02/2020 24/01/2020 Unspecified wild bird (environmental sample)
H5N1 Denmark 27/01/2020 NA Chickens

* Information on neuraminidase genes is not available.

Figure 1. (Left) Distributions of outbreaks by subtype observed since 01 October 2019; (Right) Distributions of outbreaks by region observed since 01 October 2019

Click to enlarge.


Table 3. Epidemiological situation overview for avian influenza viruses with zoonotic potential



Epidemiological Situation Overview

H5N1 HPAI (1997)

- The ‘classic bird flu’, a highly pathogenic AI virus that can occasionally infect humans
- Endemic in several countries in Africa and Asia
- New introduction in West Africa in December 2014
- Different clades reassortments

H5N8 HPAI (2014)

- New strain spread from Far East to Central Asia, Middle East, Western Europe and Africa
- June 2016 – September 2018: 52 countries affected
- Since December 2019: new introduction in Poland and spread in Europe and Middle East
- No human case reported to date
- For the list of bird species affected by H5N8 HPAI see FAO sub-Saharan situation update

H5N6 HPAI (2014)

- 1 human case with ‘H5N8-like’ H5
- 23 human cases of the ‘conventional’ Asian H5N6
- All human cases reported to date occurred in China
- H5N6 (2017, Netherlands) not zoonotic and genetically different
- Detection of a H5N6 HPAI virus in June 2019 in Nigeria marks the first ever report of this subtype on the African continent
- Outbreaks in wild birds in Western China reported beginning 2020


- A sub-type widespread in its LPAI form, can cause local epizootics in its HPAI form
- Major epizootics occurred in the USA and France in 2015
- Enzootic in Taiwan, Province of China
- Occasional sporadic reassortants detected in Europe


- Epizootic in Taiwan. First detected in September 2019

H7N9 LPAI (2013) and HPAI (2017)

- Reported only in China; recent HPAI mutation (observed end 2016)
- Most human cases exposed in live bird markets
- Period 5 (Oct 2016 to Sep 2017): significant increase in case numbers and geographic expansion
- Nation-wide vaccination campaign since Sep 2017: drop in number of animal outbreaks and human cases as well as detections
- See monthly FAO H7N9 situation update

H7N4 LPAI (December 2017)

- Found only in China and Cambodia (through LBM surveillance)
- One human case in China with reported exposure to poultry


- First human case reported in 1998
- More than 40 human cases diagnosed worldwide
- Cause of significant production losses and mortalities in poultry production systems
- Endemic in several countries in Africa and Asia


 FAO's support to countries

Global level

  • The WHO consultation on the Composition of Influenza Virus Vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere 2020-2021 is currently being held (24-28 February 2020) at WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • On 17 January 2020, FAO released an alert on H5N8 HPAI in Eastern Europe to warn the Chief Veterinary Officers and FAO offices about the potential spread of the disease and advise on measures to take for prevention and control.
  • The Tripartite Zoonoses Guide is now available in all UN languages [link]
  • 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

Europe and Asia


  • 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]





Recommendations for affected countries and those at risk

For a list of recommendations please refer to the update published on 11 October 2017 .


Recent Publications

Baek, Y.G., Lee, Y.N., Lee, D.H., Cheon, S.H., Kye, S.J., Park, Y.R., […], & Lee, Y.J. A novel reassortant clade highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 virus identified in South Korea in 2018. Infection, Genetics, and Evolution, 2020 March;78:104056. [reference].

Chaudhry, M., Webby, R., Swayne, D., Rashid, H.B., DeBeauchamp, J., Killmaster, L., […], & Hasni, M.S. Avian influenza at animal-human interface: One-health challenge in live poultry retail stalls of Chakwal, Pakistan. Influenza & Other Respiratory Viruses, 2020 February 7. [reference].

Delpont, M., Racicot, M., Durivage, A., Fornili, L., Guerin, J.L., Vaillancourt, JP4, Paul MC1. Determinants of biosecurity practices in French duck farms after a H5N8 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza epidemic: The effect of farmer knowledge, attitudes and personality traits. Transboundary Emerging Diseases, 2020 January 20. [reference].

Dong, Z., Ya, X., Wang, D., Liu, C., Shen, Q., & Xia, Y. Genetic Characterization of a Novel Reassortant H5N6 Avian Influenza Virus Identified from a 10-Year-Old Girl. Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2020 January 23;73(1):36-43. [reference].

Humphreys, J.M., Ramey, A.M., Douglas, D.C., Mullinax, J.M., Soos, C., Link, P., […], & Prosser, D.J. Waterfowl occurrence and residence time as indicators of H5 and H7 avian influenza in North American Poultry. Scientific Reports, 2020 February 13;10(1):2592. [reference].

Jiang, L., Zhao, X., Xu, W., Zhou, X., Luo, C., Zhou, J., […], & Li, D. Emergence of human avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infections in Wenshan City in Southwest China, 2017. BMC Infectious Diseases,2020 February 19;20(1):154. [reference].

Kang, Y.M., Cho, H.K., Kim, H.M., Lee, M.H., To, T.L., & Kang, H.M. Protective efficacy of vaccines of the Korea national antigen bank against the homologous H5Nx clade and clade highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses. Vaccine, 2020 January 16;38(3):663-672. [reference].

Kombiah, S., Kumar, M., Murugkar, H.V., Nagarajan, S., Tosh, C., Senthil Kumar, D., […], Singh, V.P. Experimental pathology of two highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses isolated from crows in BALB/c mice. Microbial Pathogenesis, 2020 January 21;141:103984. [reference].

Le, K.T., Okamatsu, M., Nguyen, L.T., Matsuno, K., Chu, D.H., Tien, T.N., […], & Sakoda, Y. Genetic and antigenic characterization of the first H7N7 low pathogenic avian influenza viruses isolated in Vietnam. Infection, Genetics, and Evolution, 2020 March;78:104117. [reference].

Lee, M.M., Jaspers, V.L.B., Gabrielsen, G.W., Jenssen, B.M., Ciesielski, T.M., Mortensen, Å.K., […], & Waugh, C.A. Evidence of avian influenza virus in seabirds breeding on a Norwegian high-Arctic archipelago. BMC Veterinary Research, 2020 February 7;16(1):48. [reference].

Puranik, A., Slomka, M.J., Warren, C.J., Thomas, S.S., Mahmood, S., Byrne, A.M.P., […], & Brookes, S.M. Transmission dynamics between infected waterfowl and terrestrial poultry: Differences between the transmission and tropism of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (clade among ducks, chickens and turkeys. Virology, 2020 February;541:113-123. [reference].

Soda, K., Tomioka, Y., Usui, T., Ozaki, H., Yamaguchi, T., & Ito, T. Pathogenicity of H5 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in rooks (Corvus frugilegus). Avian Pathology, 2020 February 21:1-7. [reference].

Valley-Omar, Z., Cloete, A., Pieterse, R., Walaza, S., Salie-Bassier, Y., […], & Treurnicht, F.K. Human surveillance and phylogeny of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N8) during an outbreak in poultry in South Africa, 2017. Influenza & Other Respiratory Viruses, 2020 February 14. [reference].

Wu, S., Huang, J., Huang, Q., Zhang, J., Liu, J., Xue, Q., […], & Jiao, P. Host Innate Immune Response of Geese Infected with Clade H5N6 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses. Microorganisms, 2020 February 7;8(2). [reference].