The first case of transmission of H5N8 bird flu to humans, discovered in Russia; WHO has been announced
Russia recently announced that its scientists have detected the first case of transmission of the H5N8 strain of bird flu from birds to humans, with the World Health Organization being alerted.
In a televised statement, Anna Popova, director of the health organization Rospotrebnadzor, said that scientists from the Vektor laboratory isolated the genetic material of the strain from seven workers at a poultry farm in southern Russia, where an outbreak was recorded in turn of birds in December.
The workers did not suffer major health consequences, but were reportedly infected with the virus from farm birds.
“Information about the world’s first case of transmission of bird flu (H5N8) to humans has already been sent to the World Health Organization,” Popova said.
“Time will tell” whether the virus will continue to mutate
There are different subtypes of bird flu viruses. Although the highly contagious strain H5N8 is lethal to birds, it has not been reported in humans. Popova praised the “important scientific discovery”, saying that “time will tell” whether the virus will continue to mutate.
“The discovery of these mutations, when the virus has not yet acquired the ability to spread from human to human, gives the whole world time to prepare for possible mutations and to react in an appropriate and prompt manner,” he said. Popova.
The first time H5N8 infects people
The World Health Organization has confirmed that it has been informed by Russia about the evolution of the virus.
“We are in talks with national authorities to gather more information and assess the impact on public health. If confirmed, this will be the first time H5N8 infects people, “said a WHO spokesman.
The WHO also said that Russian workers were “asymptomatic” and no cases of subsequent human-to-human transmission were reported, according to Science Alert.
A mortality rate of 60% among people
People can become infected with bird and swine flu viruses, such as the A (H5N1) and A (H7N9) bird flu subtypes or the A (H1N1) swine flu subtypes.
According to the WHO, humans usually become infected through direct contact with animals or contaminated environments and there is no sustained transmission among humans. H5N1 can cause severe disease in humans and has a mortality rate of 60%.