WHO Regional Office for Europe overview on avian influenza for public health professionals (2015)




This overview summarizes information on avian influenza viruses currently known to infect humans.Three subtypes of avian influenza A (H5, H7 and H9) are known to infect people; however rare, sporadic infections of humans with other subtypes have been documented. Since 2013, several new LPAI viruses (A(H7N9), A(H6N1), A(H10N8)) have infected humans and sometimes led to severe or lethal cases. HPAI A(H5N1) has been detected in humans since 2003 and regularly causes new fatalities. One novel HPAI A(H5N6) virus have been reported to cause human disease for the first time in 2014. In addition, according to reports received by OIE, several outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry as well as infections in wild birds have been reported in Europe and in other WHO regions, including the first detection of HPAI A(H5N8) and A(H5N1) in birds in the Americas.