Surveillance report: Avian influenza overview (November 2017 – February 2018)
The “Avian influenza overview” report is published quarterly and provide an update of the developments of avian influenza viruses in EU/EEA and worldwide, in particular with a view to describe the evolution of virus spread from certain regions towards the EU. In case of significant changes in the epidemiology of avian influenza, these reports could be needed more frequently.
The report is published jointly by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Union Reference Laboratory for Avian influenza (EURL). Avian influenza is an infectious viral disease in birds, including domestic poultry. Avian influenza is mainly found in birds, but under certain circumstances infections can also occur in humans even though the risk is generally very low.
Between 16 November 2017 and 15 February 2018, one highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N6) and five HPAI A(H5N8) outbreaks in poultry holdings, two HPAI A(H5N6) outbreaks in captive birds and 22 HPAI A(H5N6) wild bird events were reported within Europe. There is a lower incursion of HPAI A(H5N6) in poultry compared to HPAI A(H5N8). There is no evidence to date that HPAI A(H5N6) viruses circulating in Europe are associated with clades infecting humans. Clinical signs in ducks infected with HPAI A(H5N8) seemed to be decreasing, based on reports from Bulgaria. However, HPAI A(H5N8) is still present in Europe and is widespread in neighbouring areas. The majority of mortality events of wild birds from HPAIV A(H5) in this three-month period involved single birds. This indicates that the investigation of events involving single dead birds of target species is important for comprehensive passive surveillance for HPAI A(H5). Moreover, 20 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) outbreaks were reported in three Member States. The risk of zoonotic transmission to the general public in Europe is considered to be very low. The first human case due to avian influenza A(H7N4) was notified in China underlining the threat that newly emerging avian influenza viruses pose for transmission to humans. Close monitoring is required of the situation in Africa and the Middle East with regards to HPAI A(H5N1) and A(H5N8). Uncontrolled spread of virus and subsequent further genetic evolution in regions geographically connected to Europe may increase uncertainty and risk for further dissemination of virus. The risk of HPAI introduction from Third countries via migratory wild birds to Europe is still considered much lower for wild birds crossing the southern borders compared to birds crossing the north-eastern borders, whereas the introduction via trade is still very to extremely unlikely.
See all reports in the same series
Rapid Risk Assessment: Cluster of pneumonia cases caused by a novel coronavirus, Wuhan, China, 2020
See all updates on avian influenza
Estimation of the number of exposed people during highly pathogenic avian influenza virus outbreaks in EU/EEA countries, October 2016–September 2018
More about avian flu
Avian influenza is an infectious viral disease in birds, including domestic poultry. Avian influenza is mainly found in birds, but under certain circumstances infections can also occur in humans even though the risk is generally very low.Read more
ECDC publications and peer-reviewed articles on avian influenza
List of ECDC publications and peer-reviewed articles covering avian influenza.Read more
Annual Epidemiological Reports on avian influenza
ECDC’s annual surveillance reports provide a wealth of epidemiological data to support decision-making at the national level. They are mainly intended for public health professionals and policymakers involved in disease prevention and control programmes.Read more
Risk assessments on avian influenza viruses
Rapid risk/outbreaks assessment aim at supporting the countries and the European Commission in their preparedness and response to a public health threat. They provide a timely summary and risk assessment of a public health threat for EU/EEA countries related to a specific event. They also include potential options for response. As outbreaks or public health events develop, ECDC may issue updated risk assessments.Read more
Epidemiological updates on avian influenza viruses
Situation updates on a currently evolving outbreak or a public health threat. The epidemiological updates typically contain a description of case numbers, temporal and geographic distribution, as well as age and sex distribution. It can also include information on the identified or potential risk factors and assessments.Read more
Communicable disease threats reports on avian influenza viruses
The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats.Read more
Facts about avian influenza in humans
Avian influenza, or bird flu, is a common term used to refer to the many types of influenza viruses that usually exclusively infect birds. Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract of pigs and result in a barking cough, decreased appetite, nasal secretions, and listless behavior; the virus can be transmitted to humans.Read more