Russia has reported the first case of a bird flu strain, H5N8, being passed from poultry to humans.
Officials said 7 workers at a poultry plant within the south of the country had been infected following an epidemic there in December.
“All 7 people, are now feeling well,” said the top of Russia’s consumer health watchdog, Anna Popova.
She said that adequate measures had been quickly taken to prevent the spread of infection.
There was no sign of transmission between humans, Ms Popova said, adding that the case had been reported to the World Health Organization.
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She praised “the important scientific discovery” by Russia’s Vektor laboratory, which had isolated the strain’s genetic material from the infected workers.
“The discovery of those mutations when the virus has not still acquired a capability to transmit from human to human gives us all, the whole world, time to organize for possible mutations and react in an adequate and timely fashion,” Ms Popova said.
She said Russian scientists could now start performing on developing test systems.
Other strains of bird flu occasionally infect humans and have led to deaths – but this is often the primary report of the H5N8 strain being passed on.