Seven Russians infected with H5N8 bird flu; first cases reported in humans
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Head of consumer rights protection agencyand chief sanitary officer Dr announced workers have been infected with the virus A(H5N8) in December, but "[a]ll seven [...] are now feeling well" and "the situation did not develop further". She said they reported it to the WHO "several days ago, just as we became absolutely certain of our results".
Popova said transmission between humans has not yet been detected, while noting the potential of mutations able "to overcome this barrier". She concluded the discovery "gives us all, the entire world, time to prepare for possible mutations and react in an adequate and timely fashion".
The WHO's European Regional Office said in an e-mail "the reported cases were [...] asymptomatic and no onward human to human transmission was reported", according to "[p]reliminary information". The e-mail continued "[w]e are in discussion with national authorities to gather more information and assess the public health impact".
The strain's genetic material was isolated from infected workers by the, which announced its intention to develop human tests and an H5N8 vaccine.
Strains of bird flu have occasionally infected or killed humans before. Most transmissions were attributed to direct contact with live or uncooked dead poultry.
- Molly Blackall. "Bird flu: humans infected with H5N8 strain for first time in Russia" — , February 20, 2021
- "Bird flu: Russia detects first case of H5N8 bird flu in humans" — , February 20, 2021
- Polina Devitt, Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Vladimir Soldatkin. "Russia reports world's first case of human infection with H5N8 bird flu" — , February 20, 2021
- "Coronavirus situation stabilizes across Russia, chief sanitary doctor says" — , May 17, 2020
- Alina Simone. "Is Siberia a Safe Place for Smallpox?" — , July 14, 2014