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Russia tells WHO it has detected first case of avian flu strain in humans

February 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 68.2%. 1 min read.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 23, 2020: The Head of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor), Russia's Chief State Sanitary Physician Anna Popova during a press briefing. Alexander Astafyev/POOL/TASS/Sipa USA

Russian authorities say they have detected what is believed to be "human infection with avian influenza H5N8," the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed to CNN.

(CNN)Russian authorities say they have detected what is believed to be "human infection with avian influenza H5N8," the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed to CNN.

"If confirmed, this would be the first time H5N8 has infected people," a WHO Europe spokesperson said in a statement Saturday.

The reported cases were workers exposed to bird flocks, according to preliminary information, the statement added.

The workers were "asymptomatic and no onward human to human transmission was reported," the spokesperson said.

Speaking during a televised briefing on Saturday, Anna Popova, the head of Russia's Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, said that the strain had been detected in seven poultry farm workers in the south of the country, state-run news agency TASS reported.

Most cases of human infection are due to contact with infected poultry or surfaces that are contaminated with infected bird excretions: saliva, nasal secretions or feces.

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