Currently, i.e. as of September 2020, the epidemiological situation with regard to avian influenza in Europe is stable. There are no new outbreaks, and the last recorded case among EU countries was in Hungary on 8 June 2020.
At the turn of 2019 and 2020, several European Union countries reported cases of H5N8. The most affected countries were Hungary and Poland, where several dozen outbreaks were detected. Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany were less affected. As a result, import rights to China and Hong Kong were temporarily suspended. Meanwhile, between 21 August and 10 September 2020, new cases were found only in the Asian part of Russia, and they concerned the H5 subtype of the avian influenza virus. Details of the incidence of the disease in the given period are presented in the table below.
Table 1. Bird flu in the world from 21 August to 10 September 2020.
|Number of administrative units affected
|Number of cases
There are still ongoing cases around the world, 92 in total. The details are shown on the map below. New cases are marked in red (34 in total) and ongoing cases are marked in blue (92 in total).
Map 1. New and ongoing cases of avian influenza worldwide.
It follows that the avian influenza problem in Europe has been resolved. Among countries that have import rights to China and Hong Kong, Poland and Hungary were affected by avian influenza. Poland has now been declared by the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) as a country free of avian influenza. We are still awaiting a decision by the Chinese administration to lift the imposed bans and to resume trade opportunities between the EU states and the PRC. Hong Kong recognizes the principle of regionalisation, so imports from countries free of avian influenza are now possible.