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ARCHIVE H5N8 HPAI GLOBAL situation update

26 June 2019, 17:00 hours; Rome

The next update will be issued on 24 July 2019


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: Namibia and South Africa


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 2018Global context: H5Nx HPAI events officially reported since 01 October 2018
Click to enlarge


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

Hagag NM, Erfan AM, El-Husseiny M, Shalaby AG, Saif MA, Tawakol MM, Nour AA, Selim AA, Arafa AS, Hassan MK, Hassan WMM, Fahmy HA, Ibraheem E, Attia M, Abdelhakim AMM, Shahein MA, Naguib MM. Isolation of a Novel Reassortant Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N2) Virus in Egypt. Viruses. 2019 Jun 18;11(6). pii: E565. doi: 10.3390/v11060565. [reference]. In this study, the HPAI (H5N2) virus was isolated from a commercial duck farm, giving evidence of the first natural reassortment event in domestic poultry in Egypt. The virus was derived as a result of genetic reassortment between H5N8 HPAI and H9N2 LPAI subtypes circulating in Egypt.


Ghafouri SA, Fallah Mehrabadi MH, Talakesh SF, Hosseini H, Ziafati Z, Malekan M, Aghaeean L, Ghalyanchilangeroudi A. Full genome characterization of Iranian H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus from Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix), 2017: The first report. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2019 Jun;64:73-80.doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2019.03.005. Epub 2019 Mar 8. [reference]. Several outbreaks of H5N8 HPAI  were reported in Iran in 2017, including that from a Hooded crow (Corvus cornix) in a national park in Esfahan Province. In this study, whole genome sequencing and characterization have been performed, and based on HA sequencing results the virus belongs to clade. Complete genome characterization of this virus revealed probable reassortment of the virus with East-Asian low-pathogenic influenza viruses. Furthermore, the virus possessed some phenotypic markers related to the increased potential for transmission and pathogenicity to mammals at internal segments.


Bergervoet SA, Ho CKY, Heutink R, Bossers A, Beerens N. Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N5 Viruses in Europe in 2016-2017 Appears Related to the Timing of Reassortment Events. Viruses. 2019 May 31;11(6). pii:E501. doi: 10.3390/v11060501. [reference]. During the epizootic of H5N8 HPAI virus in Europe in 2016-2017, HPAI viruses of subtype H5N5 were also isolated. In this study, authors show that the genetic constellation of a newly isolated H5N5 virus is different from two genotypes previously identified in the Netherlands. Experiments in primary chicken and duck cells revealed only minor differences in cytopathogenicity and replication kinetics between H5N5 genotypes and H5N8. These results suggest that the limited spread of H5N5 HPAI viruses may be related to the timing of the reassortment events rather than changes in virus pathogenicity or replication kinetics.


Antigua KJC, Choi WS, Baek YH, Song MS. The Emergence and Decennary Distribution of Clade HPAI H5Nx. Microorganisms. 2019 May 29;7(6). pii:E156. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms7060156. Review. [reference]. This review paper provides an overview of the emergence of each novel H5Nx HPAI virus as well as its current epidemiological distribution.


Recommendations for affected countries and those at risk

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