Risk of Human Spread of H5N8 Bird Flu Deemed Low: WHO
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The risk of human-to-human spread of the H5N8 strain of bird flu appears low after it was identified for the first time worldwide in farmworkers in Russia, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Russia registered the first case of influenza A(H5N8) being passed to humans from birds and has reported the matter to the WHO.

Seven people in Russia were found to be infected with H5N8, but all were asymptomatic following an outbreak on a poultry farm in the southern oblast (region) of Astrakhan, a WHO statement said. The death of 101,000 of the farm's 900,000 egg-laying hens in December had sparked the investigation, it said.

All close contacts of these cases were clinically monitored, and no one showed signs of clinical illness. Based on currently available information, the risk of human-to-human transmission remains low. The WHO advised against any special traveller screening at points of entry or restrictions on travel and or trade with the Russian Federation.

The WHO statement said that developing zoonotic influenza candidate vaccine viruses for potential use in human vaccines remains an essential part of WHO strategy for influenza pandemic preparedness.

Source:
https://www.reuters.com/article/health-birdflu-russia-who/risk-of-human-spread-of-h5n8-bird-flu-deemed-low-who-idUSL8N2KW5S8
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