In 2023, avian influenza has circulated extensively among wild birds throughout Europe. Black-headed gulls especially have been heavily affected by the virus. In summer 2023, exceptionally large numbers of deaths were recorded among wild birds in Finland as a result of the H5N1 virus infection.
In July 2023, avian influenza was detected in farmed fur animals in Finland. So far, no infections have been detected on poultry farms.
The Finnish Food Authority monitors the occurrence of avian influenza in wild birds in Finland and prevents the spread of the disease on farms.
Avian influenza is poorly transmitted to humans
Avian influenza viruses are poorly transmitted to humans. However, humans may be infected by an infected or dead bird or other animals, or by material or environments contaminated with their excrement. No infections have been detected in humans in Finland.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare provides advice on what people can do to prevent avian influenza infections.
- Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare web page on avian influenza (in Finnish and Swedish)
International cooperation in monitoring
International health organisations such as the WHO and ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) are monitoring the situation in Finland in cooperation with the national authorities.