Story maps

(added on 2017/01/19)

In birds only, so far 不得鳥

© 2017
Data source: ProMED-mail, OIE
Map created by CUHK SpatioEpi Group

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"Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses" spread rapidly and can cause acute and severe consequences in infected birds. The entire flock of poultry could be eliminated within 48 hours. These viruses normally do not infect human, but virulent strains may emerge in our population if there is shuffling of avian influenza genes and those in human. Within the avian influenza virus family, H5N1 and H7N9 are the most widely known ones. Scientists are closely monitoring other viruses in the same family, namely, H5N6 and H5N8. Fortunately there has not been any reported human infection with H5N8 up to this moment.

The map shows the global distribution of reported H5N8 outbreaks in birds between 2014 and 2016. In the year 2016, a total of 29 countries were affected. In the first three quarters of 2016, H5N8 was only reported in few countries including South Korea, Egypt, Taiwan and Russia. In September of the same year, a warning of potential H5N8 spread was issued by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization, following the identification of H5N8 among birds in Ubsu-Nur Lake, a common habitat of migratory birds in Russia. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the warning came true with many European countries reporting outbreaks, which tied in with the timing of birds’ migration. To prevent further spread of H5N8, culling was enforced. In France alone, over 1 million poultry birds have been culled.

Data for the map was retrieved from ProMED-mail and World Organization of Animal Health.