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ARCHIVE H5N8 HPAI GLOBAL situation update

25 September 2019, 17:00 hours; Rome

The next update will be issued on 23 October 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: 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 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

Andronico, A., Courcoul, A., Bronner, A., Scoizec, A., Lebouquin-Leneveu, S., Guinat, C., […], & Cauchemez, S. Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 in south-west France 2016-2017: A modeling study of control strategies. Epidemics, 2019 Sep; 28:100340. [reference]. In this study, a mathematical model was developed to analyze the spatiotemporal evolution of the H5N8 HPAI epidemic that hit Europe in the winter 2016-2017, focusing on France, and further evaluate the impact of control strategies.


Pohlmann, A., Hoffmann, D., Grund, C., Koethe, S., Hüssy, D., Meier, S.M., […], Beer M. Genetic Characterization and Zoonotic Potential of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus A(H5N6/H5N5), Germany, 2017-2018. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2019 Oct; 25(10):1973-1976. [reference]. The study presents the genetic characterization of H5N6 HPAI virus isolates clade found in Germany in 2017-2018, and assessed pathogenicity of representative H5N5 and H5N6 viruses in ferrets. These viruses showed low pathogenicity in ferrets.


Wille, M., Lisovski, S., Risely, A., Ferenczi, M., Roshier, D., Wong, F.Y.K., […], & Hurt, A.C. Serologic Evidence of Exposure to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5 Viruses in Migratory Shorebirds, Australia. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2019 Oct; 25(10):1903-1910. [reference]. Shorebirds, known reservoirs of avian influenza viruses, migrate from Siberia to Australia along the East-Asian-Australasian Flyway. More than 1,500 serum samples collected from shorebirds were screened for nucleoprotein antibodies and tested positive samples for specific antibodies against seven HPAI H5 virus antigens and two low pathogenicity avian influenza H5 virus antigens. Results showed the presence of hemagglutinin inhibitory antibodies against H5 HPAI virus clade in the red-necked stint (Calidris ruficolis).


Rimi, N.A., Hassan, M.Z., Chowdhury, S., Rahman, M., Sultana, R., Biswas, P.K., […], & Ross, A.G. A Decade of Avian Influenza in Bangladesh: Where Are We Now? Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, 2019 Sep 11; 4(3). pii: E119. [reference]. This article describes the evolution of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Bangladesh since the first reported outbreak in poultry in 2007. The predominant genotype of the H5N1 viruses is clade Surveillance has provided evidence that the virus has persistently prevailed in all sectors and caused discontinuous infections. The presence of AIV in live bird markets has been detected persistently.


Recommendations for affected countries and those at risk

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