Russia announced on Saturday that it had identified the first case of H5N8 bird flu in humans, according to multiple reports.
Anna Popova, the country’s public health officer, said in a television comment that seven cases were detected in workers at a poultry farm in Southern Russia. Bloomberg News reported.. Authorities reported information about the incident to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Popova said the worker had a mild case and recovered. Bloomberg said the poultry farm was the site of the bird outbreak in December.
“It’s not a person-to-person transmission, but over time we’ll see how quickly future mutations can overcome this barrier,” he said. “The discovery of this strain has given us all around the world the time to prepare for possible mutations and the potential to develop test systems and vaccines in a timely manner.”
In a statement to Hill, WHO said, “We have been notified by the Russian Federation of human infection with bird flu H5N8 through the International Health Regulations mechanism.”
“According to preliminary information, the reported case was a worker exposed to a flock of birds. It is asymptomatic and no human-to-human transmission has been reported. If confirmed, H5N8 is human. This is the first time I have been infected with the disease, “the statement said. “We are in talks with national authorities to gather more information and assess the impact of this event on public health.”
Reuters pointed out Outbreaks of this strain have occurred in Europe, China, the Middle East and North Africa in recent months, but only in poultry.
Updated at 2:30 pm
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