Risk Assessment of Human Infection with Avian Influenza A (H10N8) Virus in Taiwan

Shu-Wan Jian, Chia-Lin Lee, Ding-Ping Liu

2014 Vol.30 NO.9

Correspondence Author: Shu-Wan Jian

  • Epidemic Intelligence Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


       Mainland China recently reported three human cases of infection with a novel reassortment of avian influenza A (H10N8) virus. Frequent travelling between the two sides of the Straits and birds smuggling from China posed a threat to public health in Taiwan and should be assessed. We assessed the risk of avian influenza A (H10N8) outbreak in mainland China to estimate the probability and its impact on Taiwan by referring to the international risk assessment framework and algorithm, including properties of virus, infection in laboratory animals, the ecology and epidemiology of the virus, susceptibility of the population and available vaccines.

       To date, the available information and scientific evidence indicated that the transmissibility of avian influenza A (H10N8) virus remained limited. The probability of imported cases and spreading to communities in Taiwan is considered very low as transmission of influenza A (H10N8) has been shown to be ineffective via humans. In addition, control measures such as enforced ban on slaughtering of live poultry at traditional wet market and antiviral stockpiling have been implemented; thereby there is little impact of human infection by influenza A (H10N8) in Taiwan. We recommend maintaining current case definitions for influenza and health education activities and obtain updated research and observational data. In addition, we suggest that Taiwan Ministry of Agriculture sustains surveillance activities for wild birds on wetlands and control birds smuggling measures to lower health risk in Taiwan.

Keywords:Avian influenza A (H10N8), risk assessment, emerging infectious disease