In Russia, the H5N8 virus was transmitted to humans for the first time, according to its own statements, and those affected became infected in a poultry factory. The WHO is following up on the report.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had already been informed of this “important discovery”, said the head of the Russian health protection agency, Anna Popova, on Saturday. Scientists at the vector laboratory had detected the virus in seven people in a poultry factory, where the bird flu had occurred in animals in December.
The disease ran without complications in all infected people. Popova praised “the important scientific discovery”. Time will tell whether the virus will continue to mutate. Since the virus does not appear to be transmitted from person to person at the moment, this gives “the whole world time to prepare for possible mutations and to react appropriately and in good time”.
The vector laboratory is ready to begin developing test kits to detect infections in humans, said laboratory chief Rinat Maxjutov in a televised speech. In addition, the laboratory will start work on a vaccine. During the Soviet era, biological weapons were developed in the Vector laboratory in the Novosibirsk region. Today the laboratory is behind one of the three corona vaccines approved in Russia.
WHO is investigating the case
The WHO confirmed that it had been informed of the case by Russia and is seeking further information. If the information is confirmed, it would be the first transmission of the bird flu virus H5N8 to humans, said a WHO spokesman.
The WHO pointed out, however, that the infected workers did not have any symptoms of the disease and there are no signs of human-to-human transmission either.
Avian flu, also known as avian influenza, occurs both in wild birds and again and again in poultry farms. In Germany, too, it has been repeatedly detected in the past, for example in several wild birds in northern Germany at the end of last year. Also in Schaffhausen and on Bodensee the virus was detected. As a rule, the H5N8 virus is fatal for birds; a risk to humans has not yet been assumed.
The mortality rate is 60 percent.
The last major outbreak of avian influenza in Germany and other European countries occurred in the winter of 2016/17. In the Federal Republic of Germany, hundreds of thousands of animals were culled in poultry farms in order to curb the action.
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infected people poultry factory Moscow reports worlds transmission bird flu virus humans