By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

In a follow-up on the report of seven human avian influenza A (H5N8) cases in Russia, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a release on the first reported detection of avian influenza A(H5N8) in humans.

Image/Capri23auto via pixabay

Positive clinical specimens were collected from poultry farm workers who participated in a response operation to contain an avian influenza A(H5N8) outbreak detected in a poultry farm in Astrakhan Oblast in the Russian Federation.

The cases remained asymptomatic for the whole follow up duration (several weeks). Follow-up nasopharyngeal swabs were collected during medical observation period and were tested negative for avian influenza A(H5N8). No obvious clinical manifestations were reported from any farm workers under medical surveillance, their family members, or other close contacts of the seven cases. Additionally, acute and convalescent sera was collected from the seven positive human cases for serological testing. The results were suggestive of recent infection.

Between 3 and 11 December, a total of 101,000 of 900,000 egg laying hens on the farm died. This high mortality rate prompted an investigation. Samples were collected from these birds and an initial detection of avian influenza A(H5N8) was performed by the Russian regional veterinary laboratory.

Influenza A(H5N8) viruses isolated from this poultry outbreak in Astrakhan belonged to clade of avian influenza A(H5Nx) viruses. In 2020, avian influenza A (H5N8) viruses were also detected in poultry or wild birds in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation.