What’s next? First case of H5N8 bird flu detected in humans

Oh, this is just great! So Russia has reported the first case of a bird flu strain, H5N8, being passed from poultry to humans. At this rate, there’s only one question we can ask; what’s next?

Officials said seven workers at a poultry plant in the south of the country had been infected following an outbreak there in December, but they are OK now.

“All seven people… are now feeling well,” Anna Popova, head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog said.

And the silver lining in this situation is that there has been no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

She said that adequate measures had been quickly taken to stop the spread of infection. And that it has been reported to the World Health Organisation.

“The discovery of these mutations when the virus has not still acquired an ability to transmit from human to human gives us all, the entire world, time to prepare for possible mutations and react in an adequate and timely fashion,” Popova said.

She said Russian scientists could now start working on developing test systems.

Other strains of bird flu occasionally infect humans and have led to deaths – but this is the first report of the H5N8 strain being passed on.