Global Influenza Update: July 2017
A decline in the reporting of Avian Influenza cases across Europe is not reflected across the globe. Outbreaks remain high throughout Africa and China.
The number of reported cases of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N8 has declined in Europe in the past two months. This has been coupled with a reduced detection of the virus strain in wild birds. However, the pattern does not fit throughout all of Europe, with outbreaks still popping up in Italy, Germany and France. The rate of outbreaks is declining but at a gradual phase out rather than complete cessation.
The H5N8 HPAI virus is still prevalent across Central Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic, which has seen cases in local duck populations close to the border with Uganda. The fact that this particular strain has been detected in this region reinforces the global spread of the virus and the multiple migratory flyways that have transmitted the disease. Furthermore, due to these flyways being regularly associated with the spread of emerging AI strains, it is likely that Europe will be affected by the next migratory season.
The threat to resident or commercial birds in Great Britain remains as a medium risk. More information on the latest GB situation can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-winter-2016-to-2017.
North Africa and the Far East continue to see outbreaks in endemic areas, made up of H5N1, H5N2 and H5N6 outbreaks. South Korea in particular seems to be struggling with H5N6 outbreaks. H7N9 is under close review in China as it has not yet been seen in wild birds but is spreading north and in the direction of migratory routes. Fortunately, the flyway routes in question pose little or no risk to Europe.