First cases of H5N8 bird flu detected in humans and reported to WHO

Russia has said its scientists have detected the first cases of transmission of the H5N8 strain of avian flu to humans.

In televised remarks, the head of Russia’s health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, said scientists at the Vektor laboratory had isolated the strain’s genetic material from seven workers at a poultry farm in southern Russia, where an outbreak was recorded among the birds in December.

The workers did not suffer any serious health consequences and Ms Popova stressed there was no sign of transmission between humans so far.

Previously another strain of bird flu – H5N1 – has been known to spread to humans.

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