Russian health officials reported that after the first outbreak of avian influenza on a poultry farm in December last year, a new avian influenza virus was transmitted from poultry to humans on Saturday.
The country’s head of public health, Anna Popova, announced that seven cases of the H5N8 strain have been found among poultry farm workers in southern Russia-prompting health officials to issue an alert to the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to Bloomberg News, Popova said in a television speech on Saturday: “Only time will tell how quickly future variants will overcome it.”
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She added: “The discovery of this strain now gives us the world time to prepare for possible mutations, and it is possible to respond in time and develop test systems and vaccines.”
Fox News could not be delivered to the World Health Organization immediately, but officials told Bloomberg that those infected were asymptomatic and there is currently no person-to-person transmission.
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Reports that surfaced at the end of last year showed that the H5N8 strain is widespread in birds in at least 15 regions of Russia, and cases have been found in China, the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe.
Not all bird flu can infect humans, and health officials have previously stated that poultry workers are most likely to get sick when dealing with infectious or dead animals.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most famous bird flu virus, H5N1, has a mortality rate of 60%, but the United States has not reported any human infections.
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Although the World Health Organization stated that only occasional cases of avian influenza occurred in humans, they did not respond to Fox News’s questions about the latest H5N8 strain.