Avian influenza emergency in the Gaza Strip – FSS infographic/Non-UN document

Avian influenza emergency in the Gaza Strip

Information as of 30 October 2015

What is avian influenza?

Highly pathogenic Asian-origin avian influenza HPAI virus, type H5N1, also known as 'bird flu, occurs mainly in birds, and is often lethal, endangering farmer livelihoods and presenting significant risks to the poultry sector. In some rare instances, H5N1 has caused human infections, leading to serious illness and sometimes death.

How is FAO responding ?

FAO supported international experts to assess the situation in early August. Their full report is now available online.

On-going responses seek to enhance:

• Surveillance capacity

• Diagnostic capacity

• Access to equipment and materials

• Communication and coordination

Why is it an emergency?

The current threat is greatest in the Gaza Strip, but a comprehensive approach to capacity building and support is needed throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip to minimise future risks, including the possibility of endemicity as well as possible market disruptions, damage to assets and animal to human disease transfer. Current resources are inadequate for such a response.

No new cases were detected among sampled farms in October, but the need for improved surveillance and biosecurity measures remains urgent. to ensure an adequate capacity to detect and respond to emerging cases.

Total disbursed:

USD 104 555

Estimated resource gap**:

USD 3 million


Farms infected 63

Farms affected 120

101 284 Poultry infected & culled

158 294 Total poultry culled*

590 800 Hatching eggs destroyed

27 000 Table eggs destroyed

14 TONS Poultry fodder destroyed

106 Production units directly affected

HSN1 in the Gaza Strip, March – October 2015

No new cases were detected in sampled farms in October, but the current outbreak is not yet officially resolved.

What's next

• Compensate farmers for culled birds to ensure cases are reported

• Fully implement biosecurity measures —access to essential equipment & training

• Support veterinary services with expertise, consumables and additional human and financial resources

• Twin Gaza's Central Veterinary Laboratory with other diagnostic laboratories to strengthen capcity & exposure to best practices

• Develop a joint animal-human health communication plan

• Awareness raising campaign targeting key stakeholders like farmers, NGOs and the private sectors as well as the general public

• Facilitate robust coordination of response and capacity building efforts


*Culling occurs at the site of the outbreak and the surrounding areas up to a three kilometre radius. Not all culled animals are infected

 **For emergency and early response, excluding sector rehabilitation and compensation for damages & losses

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations • Mount of Olives Street 26 • Shiekh Jarrah, Jerusalem • Tel: +972 (0)2 533 9400


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