Risk of Bird Flu in Norway Relatively Low over Winter

NORWAY - The risk of introducing highly pathogenic avian influenza, H5N8 into Norway is small.
calendar icon 12 December 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

At present infection introduction is primarily related to bird breeding areas in western and eastern Russia and therefore outside the Norway main route, according to the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

High pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI) H5N8 has caused several outbreaks in poultry in Japan, South Korea and China since the beginning of 2014. This virus has also affected poultry in Germany, the Netherlands and England recently.

The virus has also been isolated from both diseased and apparently healthy migratory birds as well as wild birds.

Wild Ducks a Threat

As presented in an FAO assessment, the virus in Europe is genetically related to the virus in South Korea. It was shown that wild ducks can be infected without dying. Such birds may play a role in the spread of the virus over long distances and further transmission to poultry.

Low Risk of Infection to Norway

Migratory birds from Southeast Asia nest to a certain extent in the Central Asian part of Russia (east of Ural). It is considered that the outbreaks of H5N8 in Germany, the Netherlands and England are caused by migratory birds that have come from these areas in Russia.

The risk of infection introduction to Europe via migratory under the current situation will primarily be related to birds that follow a southwesterly migration route from the same eastern breeding areas. These breeding areas fall outside the main route which Norway is a part. It is therefore considered that there is little risk of infection introduction from these areas to Norway via autumn/winter migratory birds.

The situation is being monitored.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

Charlotte Rowney

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