First cases of H5N8 bird flu virus in humans




Moscow – According to the authorities, a transmission of the H5N8 subtype bird flu from animals to humans has been detected for the first time in Russia. ©

 The  information on the world’s first case had been sent to the World Health Organization, Russia’s chief medical officer Anna Popova said on state television on Saturday.

Mild disease course in those affected

Seven employees of a poultry farm in the south of the country fell ill in December. Those affected are fine, they have recovered. ©

 The  disease was mild. According to regional authorities, a chicken farm near the city of Volgograd was affected. After the outbreak of bird flu, the area was quarantined, the administration of the Interfax agency announced on Sunday. ©

 The  animals were killed, eggs and frozen meat destroyed.

In the next few days, the disinfection work should be completed and new chickens should be bought in mid-April, it said. ©

 The re are three poultry farms in the region that specialize primarily in the production of eggs.

Russian authorities reported transmission to WHO


 The  vector research center in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk had proven that the employees were transmitted with the H5N8 virus. Popova said the data was only sent to WHO when it was completely certain. But she doesn’t know of any case of human-to-human transmission.

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Several outbreaks of bird flu have also been detected in animals in Austria. ©

 The  highest incidence and death rates are observed in chickens and turkeys. Avian flu occurs with different subtypes. Several had already known that people could be infected with it. Transmission via infected food is however unlikely. ©

 The  German Friedrich Loeffler Institute announced on Friday that the risk of the disease spreading further was still high.

According to the institute, the H5N8 virus has not yet been transmitted to humans. “In the case of avian influenza viruses, there is always the possibility of a quick change in the properties,” said a spokeswoman on Sunday. In addition, if there is a high viral load, as in affected companies, it must be expected that there will be transmissions.


 The re are several subtypes of avian flu viruses, including the H5N1 virus, which can cause serious illness in humans. ©

 The  mortality rate is 60 percent. ©

 The  last major outbreak of avian influenza in European countries occurred in the winter of 2016/17.

Avian influenza was first observed in Italy in 1878. ©

 The  pathogens occur worldwide, reports AGES. In Austria, the AGES national reference laboratory has been investigating an increasing number of wild birds found dead in recent weeks: On February 4, 2021, a swan found dead in Lower Austria (Klosterneuburg) was diagnosed with the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI, serotype H5N8). Further cases were confirmed on February 10: a swan in Vienna (H5N8) and two swans in southern Styria (H5N5). (WHAT / dpa)

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