RUSSIA: Russia has recorded its first case of H5N8 avian flu transmission in humans. Seven workers in a poultry farm in Russia went through an examination after they showed subtle symptoms of the highly contagious virus.
Previously, the same poultry plant had recorded the outbreak of Avian flu among the birds in December. The scientists had isolated the genetic material of the workers in the Vector laboratory in Russia. However, the virus did not show any precedence in human.
The H5N8 avian flu virus has never been found in humans. Therefore, Russia became the first country in the world to report the first H5N8 in humans on Saturday. Meanwhile, World Health Organisation (WHO) has been alerted of the occurrence.
“Information about the world’s first case of transmission of the avian flu (H5N8) to humans has already been sent to the World Health Organization.” Anna Popova, the head of Russia’s health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said in a statement. Adding that “time will tell” if the virus can further mutate.
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The revelation has raised further questions regarding the porous consumption of poultry. While the workers were found exposed to the dead and infected bird flocks, it is safe to infer that cooked meat will cause no harm.
“Preliminary information indicates that the reported cases were workers exposed to bird flocks,” said Reuters quoting an email from WHO’s European arm.
Russia’s Vector laboratory – the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology has also developed one of the several vaccines the country has so far produced.
Recently, Russia, North Africa, Europe, China, and the Middle East have reported the outbreak of H5N8 flu but only in poultry. Several Indian states have reported cases of flu among bird flocks that had come from the H5N8 strand.