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ARCHIVE H5N8 HPAI GLOBAL situation update

04 July 2018, 17:00 hours; Rome

The next update will be issued on 08 August 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 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*,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.


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 between 01 October 2017 and 04 July 2018H5N8 HPAI events officially reported in Asia, Europe and Africa by onset date
Click to enlarge


For a list of bird species affected by H5N8 HPAI see Update 03/05/2018


 FAO's support to countries

Global level

  • Report of the WHO Vaccine Composition Meeting February 2018 [link] and September 2017 [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

Dhingra, M.S., Artois, J., Dellicour, S., Lemey, P., Dauphin, G., Von Dobschuetz, S., [...], & Gilbert, M. Geographical and Historical Patterns in the Emergences of Novel Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5 and H7 Viruses in Poultry. Veterinary Sciences, June 2018. doi:10.3389/fvets.2018.00084. [reference]. The study aimed at building a spatio-temporal database of all these recorded conversions and reassortments events on emerging HPAI H5 and H7 viruses. From 1959 onwards, a total of 39 independent H7 and H5 LPAI to HPAI conversion events were identified. All but two of these events were reported in commercial poultry production systems, and a majority of these events took place in high-income countries. In contrast, a total of 127 reassortments have been reported from 1983 to 2015, which predominantly took place in countries with poultry production systems transitioning from backyard to intensive production systems.


Kandeil, A., Sabir, J.S.M., Abdelaal, A., Mattar, E.H., El-Taweel, A.N., Sabir, M.J., […], & Ali, M.A. Efficacy of commercial vaccines against newly emerging avian influenza H5N8 virus in Egypt. Scientific Reports, 2018 Jun 26;8(1):9697. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28057-x. [reference]. This study evaluated the efficacy of the eight most common commercial H5 poultry vaccines in the Egyptian market and compared them with an experimental vaccine based on the Egyptian LPAI H5N8 virus. Most of the commercial poultry H5 vaccines used were ineffective because the seed viruses in these vaccines are genetically distinct from the H5N8 viruses currently circulating in Egypt. Although some of the commercial vaccines protected chickens from mortality, they failed to prevent chickens from shedding the virus.


Al-Ghadeer, H., Chu, D.K.W., Rihan, E.A., Abd-Allah, E.A., Gu, H., Chin, A.W.H., [...], & Poon, L.L.M. Circulation of influenza A(H5N8) virus, Saudi Arabia. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2018 Oct. doi:10.3201/eid2410.180846. [reference]. The study reports full-genome analyses of highly pathogenic H5N8 viruses recently detected in different provinces in Saudi Arabia.


Son, K., Kim, Y.K., Oem, J.K., Jheong, W.H., Sleeman, J.M.,& Jeong, J. Experimental infection of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, Clade H5N6 and H5N8, in Mandarin ducks from South Korea. Transboundary Emerging Diseases, 2018 Jun;65(3):899-903. doi:10.1111/tbed.12790. [reference]. In this study, the comparative pathogenicity and infectivity of Clade Group B H5N8 and Group C H5N6 viruses were evaluated in Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata). None of the ducks infected with H5N6 or H5N8 viruses showed clinical signs or mortality. Both the viruses did not replicate after cross-challenging with H5N8 and H5N6 viruses, respectively, as the second infection. Viral replication and shedding through cloaca were higher in H5N8-infected ducks than in H5N6-infected ducks.


Guinat, C., Gaëlle, N., Vergne, T., Bronner, A., Durand, B., [...], & Paul, M.C. Spatio-temporal patterns of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H5N8 spread, France, 2016 to 2017. Euro Surveillance, 2018;23(26):pii=1700791. doi:10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.26.1700791. [reference]. This study examined the spatio-temporal distribution of outbreaks that occurred in France between November 2016 and March 2017. Most outbreaks affected duck flocks were in south-west France. A significant space–time interaction of outbreaks was present at the beginning of the epidemic within a window of 8 km and 13 days. Five spatio-temporal outbreak clusters were identified in the main poultry producing areas, moving sequentially from east to west.


Recommendations for affected countries and those at risk

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