Hannover. In Russia, infections with the avian influenza virus subtype H5N8 were detected in humans for the first time. The Friedrich Loeffler Institute announced on Monday that there have been no cases in Germany. “Despite the extensive and still active events in poultry and wild birds, there are no indications of human infections or natural infections in mammals in Germany or other European countries outside of Russia,” the institute said in a press release.
In the case of avian influenza viruses, there is always the possibility that the properties will change – including in terms of transferability. “In addition, if the viral load is high, as is to be expected in affected poultry holdings, sporadic transmissions to humans cannot be ruled out,” says the institute.
Food transmission unlikely
In Germany, in the context of avian influenza outbreaks, particular attention is paid to possible susceptible mammals such as cats and martens, as some animals of these species on the island of Rügen were affected by the avian influenza incident caused by H5N1 in 2006. Since autumn 2020 there have been numerous outbreaks of poultry in Europe.
The virus subtype H5N8 and other H5 subtypes in wild birds are responsible for this.
The highest incidence and death rates are observed in chickens and turkeys. Transmission via infected food is however unlikely.
This is to be done on contact
People who come into contact with infected poultry should watch for symptoms for at least ten days. One thing in particular is conjunctivitis. “If symptoms occur, medical help should be sought immediately and influenza virus testing carried out,” informs the institute. In addition, general hygiene rules apply: Dead birds should not be touched with bare hands. If contact does occur, hands should be washed thoroughly immediately.
The Robert Koch Institute has also formulated recommendations on its website.
Infected people have recovered
The Vektor research center in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk had therefore detected the transmission with the H5N8 virus and had already transmitted the scientific data to the World Health Organization.
The disease was mild.
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Avian influenza detected humans evidence Germany