The world’s first cases of H5N8 avian influenza in humans have been found in Russia.
Thankfully, the virus isn’t spreading amongst people. Yet.
The country’s public-health chief, Anna Popova, stated that authorities sent information on the seven cases detected in workers at a poultry farm in southern Russia to the World Health Organization.
She said that it is not transmitted from person to person yet, but only time will tell how soon future mutations will allow the H5N8 virus to overcome this barrier. Popova also added that this discovery would also give the whole world time to prepare for possible mutations, and react promptly. This would, in turn, help the development of test systems and potential vaccines.
The affected workers in the poultry farm where the outbreak among the birds was first reported in December have been diagnosed with mild cases and have recovered now, Popova said.
WHO website states, “Though human infections with A(H5) viruses are rare and generally occur in individuals exposed to sick or dead infected birds (or their environments), they can lead to severe illness or death in humans.” In a report posted by WHO in November 2016, six of 14 cases of H5N6 avian flu in humans reported since 2014 were fatal.