Monday, December 11, 2023

Russia says it has found first human case of (H5N8) bird flu

Russia said on Saturday that scientists had found the first case of human transmission of the H5N8 strain of bird flu and notified the World Health Organization.

Anna Popova, head of Russia’s Rospotrebnadzor health inspectorate, said on television that scientists at the Vector lab had isolated genetic material. From seven workers at a poultry farm in southern Russia, where a bird outbreak was reported in December.

The workers do not have serious health consequences, in addition she said.

Information on the world’s first human cases of bird flu (H5N8) transmission has been sent to the World Health Organization, said Popova.

There are several subtypes of the bird flu virus.

While the highly contagious H5N8 strain is deadly to birds, it has never been reported to have spread to humans.

Furthermore, Popova praised the “important scientific findings” and said “time will tell” whether viruses can continue to mutate.

“The discovery of this mutation, in which the virus does not yet have the ability to pass from person to person. Hence, gives us all the time around the world to prepare for a possible mutation and respond in a timely and timely manner,” said Popova.

People can catch bird flu and swine flu viruses such as avian influenza subtypes. These are A (H5N1) and A (H7N9) and swine flu subtypes such as A (H1N1).

According to WHO, humans are usually infected through direct contact with contaminated animals or environments. And also, there is no permanent human-to-human transmission.

H5N1 in humans can cause serious illness and has a 60 percent mortality rate.

Read more: New Ebola virus outbreak declared in Guinea

Secret laboratory

The Vector State Center for Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo outside the city of Novosibirsk in Siberia. It has developed one of several Russian coronavirus vaccines.

During the Soviet era, secret laboratories carried out secret biological weapons research and still harbor viruses from Ebola to smallpox.

On TV, head Vector Rinat Maksyutov said the lab soon started developing a test kit. Hence, that could detect potential cases of H5N8 in humans and start working on a vaccine.

The USSR was a center of scientific power, and Russia was trying to regain leadership in vaccine research under President Vladimir Putin.

Russia registered its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in August, months before Western competitors and even before large-scale clinical trials.

After initial skepticism in the West, the Lancet released results this month. Hence, this showing that Russia’s Soviet-era vaccine is safe and effective.

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