Since the last report, highly-pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza has been detected in wild birds in 7 countries across Europe, and also in South Korea. In Europe, 22 outbreaks occurred between November 23 and December 23, in southwestern Finland, the Netherlands, Scotland and Wales, Switzerland, southwestern France, and Romania and Montenegro; species involved include raptors (1 white-tailed sea eagle, 2 peregrine falcons), corvids (1 magpie, 1 unspecified corvid), and anatids (1 whooper swan, 2 greylag geese, 1 black-headed gull, and many ducks - up to 60 in a single morality event). The South Korean outbreak occurred in Gyeonggi Province, in northern South Korea, where H5N8 was detected in wild bird droppings collected on November 23.
Summary of HPAI H5N8 outbreaks reported in wild birds between December 16 and 22, 2016
Date of outbreak(s)
Town of Rauma (southwestern)
1 white-tailed sea eagle
First case of H5N8 on mainland
Tarn department (southwest)
Area has been disinfected
Lake Skadar (eastern)
First case of AI in Montenegro
December 2 - 20
1 corvid, 108+ ducks, 1 peregrine falcon
14 outbreaks total
1 whooper swan
Teleorman County (southern)
2 greylag geese
Spread to new area
Gyeonggi Province (northern)
Wild bird feces
First H5N8 this winter in Korea
1 black-headed gull
Carmarthenshire, southern Wales
Reported on December 22
1 Eurasian widgeon
First wild bird detection in UK
Reported on December 23
1 peregrine falcon
South Korea (HPAI H5N6)
A wild swan found dead on December 11 has tested positive for highly-pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza. The swan was fond in the city of Gyeongsan, in southeastern South Korea. Poultry movement has been restricted within 10 km of the location where the swan was found, and officials are optimistic that the strain will not spread in this region.
South Korea (H5, suspect HPAI H5N6)
On December 19, the zoo in Seoul Grand Park reported that 2 storks and 5 of 8 endangered Mandarin ducks that were in the same enclosure have died from H5 infections. Eight remaining ducks in the enclosure have been culled as a preventative measure, and other birds at the zoo are being screened for the infection.
Bulgaria and Ukraine (HPAI H5, suspect H5N8)
On December 16, 10 mute swans were found dead in Kherson Oblast, southern Ukraine, and on December 21, 2 grey herons were found dead at a natural park in Yambol Province, southeastern Bulgaria. Samples from both incidents have tested positive for HPAI H5 avian influenza.
USA (LPAI H7N2)
On December 15, officials announced that low-pathogenic H7N2 avian influenza has infected at least 45 cats at an animal shelter in Manhattan, New York. One older cat with other health problems has died; all other cats have only mild respiratory symptoms and are being kept in a quarantine area. The virus has not been found in any of the shelter’s dogs, and testing is ongoing for other animal species housed there.
Avian Influenza in Poultry
Global (HPAI H5N8)
Since the last report, highly-pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza has been detected in poultry in 10 countries globally. In Europe, 35 outbreaks occurred between December 7 and 20 in southern France, northern Germany, southern Hungary, northern Netherlands, eastern and western Poland, northern Serbia, and in England; species involved include ducks, chickens, turkeys, and guineafowl, and outbreaks occurred on commercial farms and in backyard flocks. In Africa, an outbreak was reported in a flock of mixed guinea fowl, turkeys, and pigeons in Kano State, northern Nigeria on December 19. In Asia, South Korea and Taiwan reported 5 outbreaks between November 27 and December 9; the outbreaks all occurred among chickens, at farms and in slaughterhouses.
Summary of HPAI H5N8 outbreaks reported in poultry between December 16 and 22, 2016
Date of outbreak(s)
Gers Department (southern)
December 13 and 20
Ducks, chickens, guineafowl
4 outbreaks on poultry farms
Lower Saxony (northern)
1 outbreak on a poultry farm
Békés, Bács-Kiskun, and Csongrad Counties (southern)
December 7, 8, 9
Geese, ducks, and unspecified birds
22 outbreaks on poultry farms; 2 outbreaks in backyard flocks
Friesland Province (northern)
Ducks and chickens
2 outbreaks on poultry farms
Kano State (northern)
Guineafowl, turkeys, pigeons
Podkarpackie Province (eastern) and Lubuskie Province (western)
December 13, 16 and 17
3 outbreaks on poultry farms
South Ba?ka District (northern)
2 outbreaks in backyard flocks
Gyeonggi Province (northern)
Reported on December 18
1 outbreak on a poultry farm
November 27 – December 9
4 outbreaks in slaughterhouses
Lincolnshire county, eastern England
1 outbreak at a poultry farm
Japan and South Korea (HPAI H5N6)
Highly pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza has been detected in poultry in Japan and South Korea. On December 16, 30 chickens were found dead at a farm in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan. Testing confirmed the presence of HPAI H5N6, and the remaining 210,000 chickens were culled the next day. In South Korea, H5N6 has been detected in the province of South Jeolla for the first time; two outbreaks on commercial duck farms were reported on December 17. Adjacent North Jeolla Province has had 14 outbreaks of H5N6 to date, and the disease appears to be spreading rapidly.
Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine (HPAI H5, suspect H5N8)
Highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza has been detected in poultry in Bulgaria, Russia, and Ukraine. In Bulgaria, 7 outbreaks occurred between December 19 and 22; all occurred in the western half of the country. Of the 7, 5 were in backyard flocks, 1 was at a commercial farm, and 1 was in a flock of captive mallards at a natural park. Authorities believe the strain involved was H5N8, but were unable to confirm the identification at the current time. The outbreak in Russia occurred in Krasnodar Krai, in the western part of the country, on December 8; a flock of backyard birds was affected. Finally, on December 16, two outbreaks occurred among backyard flocks in Kherson Oblast, southern Ukraine.
France (LPAI H5N1)
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reports two new outbreaks of low-pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza. The outbreaks took place on December 13 and 15 in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in southwestern France. Both outbreaks involved unspecified birds on farms, and all susceptible birds were destroyed by December 20. Control measures include screening, disinfection/disinfestation, traceability, and stamping out. The outbreak is epidemiologically linked to an earlier outbreak in Eugénie-les-Bains, in the nearby department of Landes.
France (LPAI H5N8)
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reports a new outbreak of low-pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza. The outbreak occurred on December 18, at a duck farm in the Landes Department in southern France. The disease was detected during routine sampling within a protection zone: no animals were clinically affected, but all 1700 susceptible ducks were slaughtered as a precaution. Control measures include screening, disinfection/disinfestation, and traceability; in addition, a 1-km protection zone has bene established around the outbreak location.
France (LPAI H5N9)
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reports two new outbreaks of low-pathogenic H5N9 avian influenza. The outbreaks occurred on December 8 and 12 at commercial duck farms in the Gers Department of southern France. The disease was detected because the ducks were required to be tested upon leaving an established protected area; none of the animals showed clinical signs.
An unspecified strain of avian influenza was detected on December 15 among poultry (chickens and/or turkeys) in the city of Bet Shemesh, near Jerusalem in Israel. The affected animals have been destroyed. There has been no independent confirmation of this story.
Avian Influenza in Humans
Hong Kong ex China (LPAI H7N9)
The Centre for Health Protection confirms the first human contraction of avian influenza in Hong Kong this season. The patient, a 75-year-old man, visited Changping, in Guangdong province, China between November 28 to December 9. He experienced chest discomfort on December 8 and visited a hospital in Changping. He returned to Hong Kong on December 9 and was hospitalized from the point of entry directly to a hospital. Initial tests on that day was negative for influenza but positive for enterovirus and rhinovirus. After a he developed a fever on December 17, tests confirmed a diagnosis of low pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza virus from samples taken on December 19. The patient was in serious condition, and has since died. While in China he had visited a wet market in Changpin and bought a dressed chicken.
China (LPAI H7N9)
Authorities report 7 cases of low pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza virus across the country. 2 people have died from the disease, and the remaining patients include a 44-year-old man from Fujian Province, a 45-year-old man from Jiangsu Province, and a person from Anhui Province.
USA (LPAI H7N2)
The Department of Health reports that a veterinarian has contracted low pathogenic H7N2 avian influenza virus in New York City. The patient experienced only a mild illness, and has recovered. The disease was contracted from close contact with H7N2-infected cats in New York animal shelters.