Russia on alert for registering the first cases of new strain in humans

A poultry farm located in southern Russia reported that seven of its employees were diagnosed by a new avian griper type A (H5N8)reported that country’s news agency, TASS.

« This is the first confirmed case in the world of human infection by the avian influenza A (H5N8) virus« Anna Popova, head of the Russian health agency Rospotrebnadzor, told the local media.

« Scientists at the Véktor Center isolated genetic material of this type of avian influenza from seven employees of a farm poultry in the south of the Russian Federation, where there was an outbreak among the poultry population in December 2020, « Popova explained at a press conference on Saturday.

The director of Rospotrebnadzor also noted that this situation could be controlled since all the measures to protect people and animals were carried out in a very short time.

« All the people, the seven individuals I am talking about today, feel fine, their clinical course was very mild. But at the same time, our scientists were able to see changes in the human body and the immune response to find this virus in the seven workers of the poultry farm, « said the official.

Although H5N8 has already « passed the species barrier, » by being transmitted from birds to humans, « this variant of the virus it is not transmitted from one person to another, at the present time, « said Popova, who believes that this detection « give the whole world time to prepare » and create tests and vaccines « in the event that this virus is more pathogenic and dangerous for humans, and acquires the ability to be transmitted from person to person. »

Avian influenza detected in other parts of the world

The bird flu virus is present in several European countries, including France, where millions of animals were euthanized to slow down their progression. In Germany there have also been several outbreaks, with the highest mortality rate observed among chickens and turkeys. There are several types of avian influenza, and several of them are capable of infecting humans.