First Human Transmission Of H5N8 Bird Flu Reported In Russia

Seven workers at a Russian poultry plant have tested positive for a bird flu strain known as H5N8. It is the first time this particular strain has been detected in humans. Other bird flu strains have been transmitted to humans previously.

The Guardian reports there is no evidence of the strain being transmitted between humans. Still, Russia notified the World Health Organization of the transmission several days ago.
In most cases, the transmission of the bird flu to humans results from direct contact with infected birds. Properly cooked food is considered safe for human consumption.

Identifying the strain “gives us all, the whole world, time to prepare for possible mutations and the possibility to react in a timely way and develop test systems and vaccines,” Dr. Popova said.

According to the RIA news agency, the Vector Institute in Siberia said on Saturday that it would begin developing human tests and a vaccine against H5N8.

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