Seven people in a poultry farm in southern Russia have contracted the H5N8 bird flu, making it the first human virus to be found in humans. Anna Popova, the Chief of Consumer Health Supervisor, as reported by BNO News, explained that this is the first time human infections of H5N8 has been confirmed by a laboratory.
She, however, elaborated that the human infections are mild and there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission. She said,
“This virus can be transmitted from birds to humans; it has overcome the barrier to interspecies. To date, this variant of the influenza virus has not been transmitted from human to human. Only time will tell how fast the mutation in the future will allow the virus to overcome this obstacle.”
Popova says the findings will help researchers prepare for the possible transmission of the H5N8 virus to humans and detailed information on these cases has been submitted to the World Health Organization (WHO).
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