Published: 2021-02-21 19:12
Last Updated: 2021-03-01 14:54
Saturday, a new strain of bird flu (H5N8) was been discovered after seven employees from a poultry farm in southern Russia tested positive for the virus.
The head of Rospotrebnadzor, the health watchdog, Anna Popova told journalists that Vector Institute experts in Siberia had isolated genetic material from H5N8, the new variant.
Popova indicated that the seven infected with the new avian flu variant only have mild symptoms.
“All people, all seven people I’m talking about today, feel good, their clinical course was very mild.”
Popova noted that this strain is capable of spreading from birds to humans.
However, she added that "at present, [the] variant of the influenza virus is not being transmitted from person to person.”
Notably, this poultry farm, the name of which was not disclosed, registered a bird flu outbreak in December 2020.
In response to the infections, Russia alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) about the cases. In turn, Rospotrebnadzor placed the virus' full genomic sequence on international databases to assist medical experts and scientists worldwide to track and understand the virus.