By NewsDesk @bactiman63
In a follow-up report on the human infections with the A(H5N8) bird flu virus in Russia last month, Rospotrebnadzor chief, Anna Popova predicts the mutating H5N8 strain of avian flu has a high risk of human-to-human transmission.
In an interview with Mikhail Petrov with Russian News Agency TASS (computer translated), Popova was asked: If we continue talking about unpleasant diseases, such a sad discovery this year has already become a case of human infection with bird flu. What does this mean for all of us? Does this threaten a new pandemic? Is it possible later that this virus will begin to spread from person to person?
She responded: Mikhail, I disagree with you, this is not a sad case. This is not a sad case, this is a case of a world-class discovery made by Russian scientists, scientists of Vector, who were able to see this transition for the first time in the world before this virus became especially pathogenic for humans and began to be transmitted from person to person. The forecast that this will happen has a fairly high degree of probability. This will most likely happen. Colleagues say that here is the zone where this mutation occurs is very mobile, and the mutation continues there. But we saw it before the disaster struck. We have time to prepare: make a test system, make a vaccine and observe the situation. It will not be needed – this will be a lucky break. But if need be, we’ll be ready. That is, we were able to see and warn the entire world community that that there is a threat. Not when it was already realized, as was the case with the Spanish flu of 1918, the Hong Kong flu of 1969. But mutations in the virus were described back in 1963, 1965, about what is changing there, what will be worse. But nevertheless, by 1969, humanity did not have time to prepare. It’s the same with the highly pathogenic flu, the 2009 swine flu. We saw a little earlier, but measures began to be taken only when people became seriously ill. In this case, everything is completely different: we saw what could change, and with extremely serious consequences for humanity, and we warned about this in time. I think that here is a great scientific result and the result of the whole system. Because in order to obtain such a result, it was necessary to monitor closely, which we did with the “Vector” center, an institute of the Rospotrebnadzor system. We did it all over the country. We have 100 observation laboratories in the country. Therefore, this is a logical result, and it is very important.