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Sub-Saharan Africa HPAI situation update

10 November 2021, 17:00 hours; Rome

The next issue will be distributed on 08 December 2021. If interested in a previous issue please send an email to EMPRES-Animal Health specifying the intended use of the document.

Disclaimer

Information provided herein is current as of the date of issue. Information added or changed since the last Sub-Saharan HPAI situation update appears in red. For poultry cases with unknown onset dates, reporting dates were used instead. FAO compiles information communicated by field officers on the ground in affected countries, from regional offices, and from World Organization 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 in 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.

 

 Overview

Situation: Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1, H5N8 and H5N6 subtypes) with pandemic potential in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa since February 2017.
Confirmed countries (H5): Benin and Lesotho.
Confirmed countries (H5N1): Botswana*, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire*, Ghana*, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa* and Togo.
Confirmed countries (H5N6): Nigeria.
Confirmed countries (H5N8): Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Animal/environmental findings: 66 new events since last update (13 October 2021).
Number of human cases: 0 new events since last update (13 October 2021).
* Countries reporting cases in the current wave (since 01 October 2021)

Map. Officially reported HPAI outbreaks (H5N1, H5N6 and H5N8 subtypes) in Sub-Saharan Africa, by onset date (1 October 2021 – 10 November 2021)

Officially reported HPAI outbreaks (H5N1, H5N6 and H5N8 subtypes) in Sub-Saharan Africa, by onset date
Click to enlarge. Note:  Map A shows confirmed HPAI events observed since 01 October 2021. Precise geolocations of 20 H5N1 HPAI outbreaks in Nigeria are not yet publicly available; Map B shows confirmed HPAI events observed between 01 October 2020 and 30 September 2021.

 

 Situation update

Table 1. Highly pathogenic avian influenza events reported in animals since 1 October 2021
(i.e. current wave)

Virus

Country (administrative regions affected)

Last event observed

#Events since last update

Total #events since 1 October 2021

Species affected during last observed events

H5N1

Côte d'Ivoire

(Comoe)

23/08/2021

2

2

Domestic chickens and other unspecified domestic birds

Ghana (Ashanti, Central, Greater Accra, Upper West, Volta, and Western)

27/10/2021

58
(including late reports)

58*

Domestic unspecified birds

South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Western Cape)

10/10/2021

6

6 (including 2 in wild birds)

Domestic chickens, ostriches, and other unspecified domestic birds, and wild bird species including Cape Cormorant (Phalocrocorax capensis)

* Veterinary Services in Ghana have confirmed H5N1 HPAI as a causative agent for these events, official notification is awaited.

 

Table 2. Highly pathogenic avian influenza events reported in animals between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021 (i.e. current wave)

Virus

Country (administrative regions affected)

Last event observed

Total #events

Species affected during the period

H5

Benin (Oueme)

27/07/2021

1

Unspecified domestic birds

Lesotho (Leribe, Maseru) 28/05/2021 2 Domestic chickens

H5N1

Botswana

(Kgatleng)

24/07/2021

1

Domestic chickens

Ghana (Greater Accra, Central)

26/06/2021

6

Domestic unspecified birds

Côte d'Ivoire

(Comoe)

15/07/2021

1

Unspecified domestic birds

Mali (Bamako, Koulikoro, Sikasso)

30/04/2021

5

Domestic chickens and other unspecified domestic birds

Mauritania (Trarza)

27/01/2021

1

Pelecanidae

Niger (Niamey, Tillaberi)

13/03/2021

3

Domestic chickens, and other unspecified domestic birds

Nigeria (Bayelsa, Delta, Kano, Lagos, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Edo and Niger States)

26/06/2021

46

Ostriches, geese, turkeys, layer chickens, and Peacocks

Senegal (Thies, Saint Louis)

23/01/2021

2

Domestic chickens, and wild Rose Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Western Cape) 25/09/2021 104 (including 28 in wild birds) Domestic chickens, ostriches, and other unspecified domestic birds, and various wild bird species

Togo (Maritime)

17/08/2021

4

Domestic chickens

H5N8

South Africa (Western Cape)

04/11/2020

1

Unspecified domestic birds

 

 

For a summary of H5N1, H5N6, and H5N8 HPAI events reported in sub-Saharan African countries in previous waves (i.e. before 1 October 2021) please contact EMPRES-Animal Health

 

 FAO's support to countries

Global level

  • On 29 October 2021, FAO sent an alert message on the risk of H5Nx HPAI (re-)introduction along migratory flyways to Chief Veterinary Officers and FAO offices of at-risk countries in Eurasia and Africa regions.
  • Report of the WHO Vaccine Composition Meeting – September 2021. [link]
  • Avian influenza report of the OIE/FAO Network of expertise on animal influenzas (OFFLU) covering the period March – September 2021. [link]
  • FAO published the third edition of the Good emergency management practice - The essentials: A guide to preparing for animal health emergencies, freely available at this link.
  • FAO in collaboration with OIE organized a webinar on H5 HPAI occurrence and prevention in North Africa on 20 May 2021.
  • As part of the OIE/FAO Network of Expertise on Animal Influenzas, FAO attended the Zoonotic Influenza Sessions of the WHO Vaccine Composition Meeting held from 2 to 4 March 2021. The report is now available online. [link]
  • On 26 February 2021, the OFFLU issued a statement on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the Russian Federation relating to its detection in poultry workers. [link]
  • The FAO/CMS-led Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds issued a statement on 12 February 2021: H5N8 (and other subtypes) Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in poultry and wild birds - Winter of 2020/2021 with focus on management of protected areas in the African Eurasian region. [link]
  • WHO developed an online training course entitled Strengthening collaboration between human and animal health sectors for improved health security, freely available at this link. The course covers the Tripartite Zoonosis Guide and associated tools in Module 2.
  • The Tripartite Joint Risk Assessment (JRA) Operational Tool to address zoonotic health threats at the animal-human-environment interface is now available online in all six UN languages [link]
  • On 13 November 2020, FAO sent an alert message on the risk of H5Nx HPAI re-introduction to Chief Veterinary Officers and FAO offices of at-risk countries in Africa region.
  • HQ (AGAH/EMPRES), ECTAD-Accra and RAF liaising with affected countries and those at risk
  • USD 6.2 million mobilized from FAO internal resources (SFERA and TCP), AfDB, ROK and USAID to support assessments and immediate response

Regional level

  • FAO-ECTAD Regional Office for West and Central Africa:
    • Supported the recently established Regional Incident Coordination Group (ICG) for West Africa on HPAI under the leadership of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Animal Health Centre (RAHC), which held their first virtual meeting on 15 September 2021 with the participation of all 15 West Africa Countries.
    • Is supporting ECOWAS in the organization of the ECOWAS Seventh Annual Regional Animal Health Networks (RAHN) Meeting to be held on 21-24 September 2021.
    • Supported Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal in managing the poultry mortality events due to H5 HPAI, as well as at-risk countries as regional level coordination in 2021.
    • Supported ECOWAS in the organization of a virtual emergency consultative meeting and refresher training on resurgence of HPAI in the ECOWAS region held on 17th – 19th February 2021.
    • Supported Liberia in April 2020 to conduct a risk assessment and risk mapping addressing HPAI introduction, spread, and occurrence in the country.
    • Supported Nigeria in May 2019 to conduct assessment mission for technical guidance on control, containment and eradication of HPAI in the country.
    • In collaboration with EMC-AH, supported Togo in May 2019 to conduct assessment mission for technical guidance on control, containment and eradication of HPAI in the country.

National level

  • Ethiopia:
    • FAO organized a face-to-face meeting on the operationalization of the Tripartite Joint Risk Assessment (JRA) operational tool, 2-6 March 2021, in Adama. The meeting was attended by 25 participants from MoA, MoH, Wildlife, sub-national animal health services, WHO, FAO, and other partners. The participants worked in groups to jointly identify and assess risks associated with HPAI and RVF for generating relevant data, information and recommendations to manage and reduce risks at the animal-human-environment interfaces.
    • NAHDIC received Proficiency Test results on avian influenza and Newcastle disease and scored 97.4% and 100%, respectively for the molecular and the serological tests of both diseases.
  • Côte d’Ivoire:
    • FAO ECTAD Côte d’Ivoire supported the national government to conduct investigations and with enhancing the capacity of the national laboratory through the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectant, reagents, and consumables using the FAO emergency stockpile and the online primers and probes ordering service set up by FAO HQ.
    • On October 28 2021, FAO ECTAD Cote D’Ivoire received via the Diplomatic Pouch various material from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot containing overboots, coverall, gauntlets, respirator FFP2, PP-Tube conical, googles, disposable scalpel, and gloves. These batches of equipment were delivered to the Directorate of Veterinary Services, LANADA, and field offices.
    • Following investigations conducted after high poultry mortalities were reported on 10 August 2021 in Mondoukou, southeastern region of Grand Bassam, samples were confirmed positive for H5N1 HPAI by the national Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) of Bingerville. This was confirmed by the reference laboratory in Padova, Italy. Additional samples were collected in live poultry markets in different locations and in migratory birds in water fly ways in the initial outbreak areas. FAO ECTAD Cote d’Ivoire will support the shipment of these samples to the reference laboratory in Padova to identify phylogenetic links.
    • Thus far, preliminary analysis of the partial HA gene sequence of the H5N1 viruses indicates that the viruses are highly pathogenic and belong to the clade 2.3.4.4.b. Further complete phylogenetic and molecular analysis of the HA gene confirmed closed relationship between H5N1 HPAI viruses detected in Côte d’ivoire and H5N1 viruses isolated in Nigeria and in Europe during 2020-2021.
    • In affected poultry farms, more than 300 000 poultry were culled by veterinary services as part of ongoing sanitary measures to control the spread of the virus. A cleaning and disinfection operation of live poultry markets in Abidjan District was launched by the veterinary services aiming at limiting the spread of the virus.
    • According to veterinary services, the epidemic is now under control. Countrywide sensitization of Poultry Sanitary Defense Groups and poultry breeders for strengthening biosecurity measures, disease surveillance, and real time reporting in poultry farms and markets are planned by veterinary services in the coming weeks with the support of FAO and USAID and active participation of IPRAVI (Ivorian poultry Interprofession).
  • The FAO country offices in Benin and Togo provided PPE, lab reagents, and consumables from the emergency stockpile and assisted in sending samples to the reference laboratory (Padova) to support the countries in controlling the disease. The FAO country office in Togo also assisted in the EMC-AH mission in Togo.
  • FAO SNE together with FAOR Mauritania and regional ECTAD in Accra supported Mauritania in managing the mortality event in pelicans due to H5N1 HPAI.
  • FAO ECTAD Niger and Mali supported the national governments to conduct further investigation, enhance the capacity of the national laboratory and provide direct support through provision of PPEs, disinfectant’s, reagents and consumables.
  • The Tripartite (FAO-OIE-WHO) co-organized with national ministries and One Health Platforms Joint Risk Assessment National Workshop in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (19-22 January 2021), addressing HPAI and Ebola, and in Senegal (15-18 December 2020), addressing HPAI and Rift Valley fever.
  • FAO ECTAD Senegal supported the development of the national emergency preparedness and response plan for HPAI and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for biosecurity, sample collection and shipment, and carcass disposal, and supported the national government in testing this plan through a simulation exercise.

Important links

  • Report of the WHO Vaccine Composition Meeting October 2020. [link]
  • The Tripartite Zoonoses Guide is now available in all UN languages. [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”. [link]
  • Focus On “Highly Pathogenic H5 Avian Influenza in 2016 and 2017 – Observations and future perspectives”. [link]
  • Risk Assessment addressing H5N8 HPAI in Uganda and the risk of spread to neighbouring countries, April 2017. [link]
  • Qualitative Risk Assessment addressing H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza spread in the Central African region. [link]

 

Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Marimwe, M. C., Fosgate, G. T., Roberts, L. C., Tavornpanich, S., Olivier, A. J., & Abolnik, C. The spatiotemporal epidemiology of high pathogenicity avian influenza outbreaks in key ostrich producing areas of South Africa. Preventive veterinary medicine, 196, 105474. [reference]. This study investigated the spatiotemporal patterns associated with the 2011 (H5N2) and 2017 (H5N8) HPAI outbreaks in the key ostrich producing areas of South Africa. Both HPAI outbreaks occurred predominantly in areas of high ostrich farm density. However, the temporal occurrence, spatial and directional distributions of the outbreaks were different.