Title: Highly pathogenic #avian #influenza A(#H5N8) in #Europe – 18 November 2016.
Subject: Avian Influenza, H5N8 subtype, multi-country epizootics in poultry and wild birds, European Region; risk assessment.
Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), full PDF file: (LINK). Summary.
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RAPID RISK ASSESSMENT
Highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N8) in Europe – 18 November 2016
Suggested citation: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N8) in Europe – 18 November 2016. Stockholm: ECDC; 2016
© European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, 2016. Figure 2 is © of the American Society for Microbiology.
Main conclusions and recommendations
- On 27 October 2016, the Hungarian authorities reported the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus A(H5N8) in a wild swan.
- Further notifications of HPAI A(H5N8) viruses detected in wild birds and poultry holdings have been made recently by seven additional European countries.
- Austria, Hungary and Germany reported outbreaks in poultry and detections in wild birds.
- Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Switzerland reported infection in wild birds only, while the Netherlands detected HPAI A(H5N8) in wild birds and birds in a zoo.
- Outside of Europe, India and Israel are currently reporting outbreaks in birds while South Korea, Taiwan and the Russian Federation reported outbreaks earlier this year.
- Culling of the affected poultry in European countries is ongoing or completed.
- Protection zones and surveillance zones have also been established.
- Influenza A(H5N8) viruses have been continuously detected among wild birds in Asia since 2010 where it has caused several outbreaks on commercial poultry farms in China, Japan and South Korea.
- This is the second time this virus has been introduced into Europe via the autumn migration of wild birds, with an increased mortality in wild birds being observed in 2016 compared with 2014/2015.
- Preliminary genetic analyses indicates that these viruses associated with the recent incursions are closely related to those that previously appeared in 2014/2015 but form a distinct genetic cluster.
- Ongoing monitoring and testing of wild birds and domestic poultry in the EU plays an important role in the detection and protection against exposure, and subsequent spread of the virus in poultry across Europe.
- This may equally minimise the human risk via exposure to infected birds.
- To date, no human infections with this virus have ever been reported world-wide and the risk of zoonotic transmission to the general public in EU/EEA countries is considered to be very low.
- The full genome sequences of several recent HPAI A(H5N8) viruses showed that these viruses to date are still essentially bird viruses without any specific increased affinity for humans.
- However, given that the virus with the HA gene has evolved from the widely circulating A(H5N1) viruses, people in direct contact with or handling diseased birds or poultry and their carcasses (e.g. hunters, farmers, veterinarians and labourers involved in the culling and rendering) might be at risk of infection.
- Given this potential zoonotic risk, contingency plans for the control of avian influenza in poultry and birds are being implemented in collaboration with public health and occupational health authorities, to ensure that persons at risk are sufficiently protected from infection.
- Appropriate personal protective equipment, including respiratory protection, should be made available and used.
- People exposed at affected holdings or having direct contact with infected wild birds should be monitored for ten days in order to identify possible related symptoms.
- Local health authorities may consider actively monitoring these groups and administering antiviral prophylaxis as recommended for persons with exposure to A(H5N1), dependent on the local risk assessment (i.e. intensity of exposure).
- Many EU Member States offer vaccination against seasonal influenza to persons exposed to poultry as a result of their occupation.
Keywords: ECDC; Updates; European Region; Avian Influenza; H5N8; Poultry; Wild Birds; Human.