H5N8 avian influenza: Russia says it has detected the first case of transmission in humans

Russia announced on Saturday (February 20) that it had detected the first case of transmission of the H5N8 strain of bird flu in humans, noting that it informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of this “significant discovery” did.

“The health laboratory has confirmed the first case of a person’s infection with group A virus, AH5N8 avian influenza,” Anna Popova, head of the Russian health agency Rospotrebnadzor, told television.

The virus was detected in seven infected people at a poultry factory in southern Russia, where an avian flu pandemic affected the animals in December 2020, with Ms. Popova saying the sick “feel good” and no complications. is.

Quick measures were taken to control the situation “in this attention of infection”, she said.

If the H5N8 strain has “crossed the intercepts barrier” by transmitting humans from birds, “this version of the virus is not transmitted from person to person at the present time”, he declared again.

He said that the test “tests and prepares a vaccine to prepare the whole world,” in the event that the virus becomes more pathogenic and more dangerous to humans and has the ability to be transmitted. From another person “.

“We will then be fully armed and fully prepared,” she continued.

The avian flu virus is currently spreading to many European countries, including France, where millions of animals have been slaughtered to stop its progress.

Ms Popova said that Russia had “already sent this information to the World Health Organization”.

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