Neil Oliver: Government leaders are frightened of their own people - and there's a lot of us

Saturday, 20 February 2021

First human cases of H5N8 bird flu: Novel bird flu has mutated in seven workers of a poultry farm in southern Russia: It's the first confirmed case of the infection of humans with the A(H5N8) bird flu virus worldwide.

Novel bird flu has been detected in seven workers of a poultry farm in southern Russia, Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing Anna Popova said at a briefing on Saturday."Scientists of the Vector Center isolated the genetic material of this kind of bird flu in seven workers of a poultry farm in the south of the Russian Federation, where an outbreak in bird population was recorded in December 2020," she said. The top sanitary doctor added that this was the first confirmed case of the infection of humans with the A(H5N8) bird flu virus worldwide.

According to her, all measures for the protection of humans and animals were implemented shortly, all risks were minimized and the situation did not develop further." All seven people I am talking about today are in good health, the clinical course of the disease was very mild," the watchdog chief added. Russia has sent to the World Health Organization (WHO) the information on the first case of humans being infected with the novel bird flu, Anna Popova said.

"The data on the first case of the infection of humans with the A(H5N8) flu have already been sent to the World Health Organization. This happened a few days ago, as soon as we became absolutely confident in our results," she said."The Vector Center of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing has already added to the international GISAID database the data of whole-genome sequencing of the (H5N8) virus with those mutations that allowed it to cross the interspecies barrier," she added.

239 human cases of H5N1 bird flu have been reported in China and Southeast Asia since 2003, killing 134 people, according to WHO. More recently, two people in China were infected with H5N6 bird flu in January, resulting in the death of a three-year-old girl. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported one new case of human infection with avian influenza A(H9N2) virus in China during the first week of 2021. The case was a 1-year-and 4-month-old male from Yunfu, Guangdong Province, China, who had exposure to domestic poultry prior to the onset of illness. He developed mild symptoms on 28 December 2020 and was admitted to a hospital on 29 December. As of 4 January 2021, no family cluster was reported. This is the 2nd case to be reported from China in 2021.

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