After its first outbreak in a poultry farm last December, a new strain of avian flu had been reported by the health officials of Russia as it can be now transmitted from birds to humans. The Russian public health chief, Anna Popova, made an announcement after they have detected seven cases of the H5N8 strain among workers of the poultry farm in the southern portion of Russia.
Human Transmission of New Strain of Avian Flu
The detection of the new strain of avian flu had also prompted Russian health officials to alert the WHO or the World Health Organization. During the televised remarks of the Russian physician and public health official, she stated that only time will tell how soon future mutations will allow in overcoming the barrier, Bloomberg reported.
In recent years, the global health community has seen numerous strains of swine flu such as H9N2, H5N1, and H7N9. As per top health officials of Russia, all of the previous cases were just mild and those individuals who have been kidnapped have recovered from the virus.
Popova also mentioned that the discovery of the new strain now gives everyone, the whole world, time to prepare for possible mutations in the future and the possibility to react in a timely way as there will be a room for preparation. She also added that test systems and vaccines can also be developed for the advantage of humans.
According to Fox News, officials of the WHO shared that individuals who were infected by the new strain of avian flu were asymptomatic and there is no any record of human to human transmissions during the examinations.
In late time last year, reports surfaced that the H5N8 was prevalent in birds in at least 15 regions in Russia. Moreover, the cases had been identified in China, North Africa, and portions of Europe.
In addition, health officials of Russia clarified once again that the previous cases of the avian flu cannot infect humans and the majority affected individuals were poultry workers as they are most likely to get sick due to their work with dead animals or with infectious diseases.
Among all avian flu, the most well-known strain is the H5N1. The said strain has a 60 percent mortality rate. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the United States has not reported any infections amongst people.
The World Health Organization has mentioned that despite the small percentage, WHO said that there are cases of avian flu amongst humans only. And these cases of avian flu are only occurring occasionally.
On the other hand, a spokesperson from the World Health Organization has stated that WHO is currently discussing with the officials from the national agencies regarding the gathering of additional information about the new strain of avian flu, in order for them to have a broader reference in their study, The Guardian reported.
The spokesperson also mentioned that there's a need of assessment on the public health impact of the event related to the new strain of avian flu.