Wild birds heavily affected by avian influenza
In Finland, exceptionally large numbers of deaths have been recorded this summer among wild birds as a result of the A(H5) virus infection. Avian influenza viruses are poorly transmitted from animals to humans or from person to person.
In 2023, avian influenza has circulated extensively among wild birds throughout Europe. Black-headed gulls especially have been heavily affected by the virus.
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare provides advice on how people can avoid infection
Humans may be infected with avian influenza through contact with infected and dead birds or other wild animals and with surfaces contaminated with their secretions. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare provides advice on what people can do to prevent avian influenza infections.
Avian influenza viruses are poorly transmitted to humans, and very few cases of infection occur. Since 2020, the H5 avian influenza virus detected in birds in Europe has only caused a few asymptomatic infections in humans.
Avian influenza detected on Finnish fur farms
In July, cases of avian influenza were reported in farmed fur animals in Finland. The pathogen was confirmed as a variant circulating especially among the gulls. The Finnish Food Authority monitors the occurrence of avian influenza in wild birds in Finland and combats the spread of the disease on farms.
International health organisations such as the WHO and ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) are working with national authorities to monitor the situation.
Find out more about avian influenza on the Finnish Food Authority and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare websites: