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First Cases Of Bird Flu in Humans Detected in Russia

Scientists in Russia have detected the first case of transmission of the H5N8 strain of avian flu to humans and had alerted the World Health Organization.

First Cases Of Bird Flu in Humans Detected in Russia

Sentinel Digital Desk

Moscow: What could be the first case of transmission of the avian flu (H5N8) to humans, scientists at the Vektor laboratory have isolated the strain's genetic material from seven workers at a poultry farm in southern Russia.

According to reports, the head of Russia's health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova said, "Information about the world's first case of transmission of the avian flu (H5N8) to humans has already been sent to the World Health Organization."

It is to be mentioned here that the highly contagious strain H5N8 which is lethal for birds has never before been reported to have spread to humans.

According to the WHO, people usually get infected through direct contact with animals or contaminated environments, and there is no sustained transmission among humans.

H5N1 in people can cause severe disease and has a 60 per cent mortality rate.

Reacting to the new pandemic, Vektor head Rinat Maksyutov said the lab was ready to begin developing test kits that would help detect potential cases of H5N8 in humans and to begin work on a vaccine.

Meanwhile, in the northeastern states of India, the government has banned the import of poultry birds, eggs and unprocessed poultry meat into the State through the Western border of Assam till further orders.

Earlier on January 8, the Assam government temporarily banned poultry import through the western border of the State as a precautionary measure in view of the outbreak of avian flu.

A notification from the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department reads, "In view of the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza in some of the States of the country which is a highly contagious disease having zoonotic potential or causing a huge loss in terms of mortality and trade of poultry, Governor of Assam is pleased to impose a temporary ban on entry of poultry as a precautionary measure through the western border of the States in the interest of preventing the escalation of the disease to Assam and the other North Eastern States."

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