Avian influenza in Finland
In tests completed on 25 November 2016, the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus was detected in Tufted ducks found dead in the Lemland and Vårdö area of the Åland Islands. The highly pathogenic form of the virus causes high mortality in a number of poultry species. This is the first time that highly pathogenic avian influenza has been found in Finland.
Subsequently, highly pathogenic avian influenza has been found in the Åland Islands in peacocks and chickens at Mariehamn´s aviary as well, and in three white-tailed eagles, which have been sent to be examined from the Finström, Sund and Eckerö areas. H5N8 avian influenza was confirmed in week 49 in Tufted ducks from Nagu, Pargas.
Subsequent to confirmation of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, Evira has established restricted zones around the places where the disease occurs in accordance with the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the Prevention of Avian Influenza Occurring in Wild Birds (4/15) and the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the Prevention of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (15/14). The restricted zone in the Åland Islands has been expanded when new cases of the disease have been found.
Subtype H5N8 of the Influenza A virus can cause serious avian influenza epidemics and heavy losses to the poultry economy. Certain avian influenza viruses have the ability to infect humans; infections are very rare though. There are no known human cases of infection caused by the H5N8 virus.