Russia has detected its first case of transmission of bird flu virus from animals to humans, according to health authorities.
Scientists from the state-run Vector Institute have isolated genetic material of the H5N8 virus from seven workers at a poultry farm in southern Russia, according to Anna Popova, head of Russia’s healthare regulator Rospotrebnadzor.
In televised remarks, she called the early diagnosis of the virus a ”victory” for Russian scientists and the country’s surveillance system for infectious diseases.
The head of the Vector Institute, Rinat Maksyutov, emphasised that there had been no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the bird flu virus – only animals to humans.
According to the World Health Organization, not all bird flu viruses cause disease in humans.
However, the new bird flu virus has a high mortality rate among the animals and doesn’t cause any symptoms, Maksyutov said.
He added that the Vector Institute will start working on a test system and vaccine against this new virus.
H5N8 virus cases have been reported recently elsewhere in Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary.