Russia, not being like China, was quick on Saturday to report to the World Health Organization (WHO), about the first case of transmission of the H5N8 strain of avian flu to humans. As per the reports, scientists from Russia identified the strain’s genetic material in seven workers at a poultry farm, where an outbreak was recorded among the birds in December.
The good news, meanwhile, is that the workers hadn’t had suffered as kind of serious health consequences after being infected by the strain.
Here is all you need to know about the H5N8 strain of avian flu:
The H5N8 is a sub-type of the Influenza A virus that causes flu-like symptoms in birds and mammals.
However, the Russian scientists say that the H5N8 strain is not harmful to humans as the workers who were infected were doing okay.
Until now, it was a common belief among people that H5N8 only affects birds and mammals. India has also witnessed the strain in recent months with the H5N8 strain found in crows in Maharastra in January.
However, no humans in India have been infected with the flu. Also, it is a wrong belief that consuming chicken would lead to the transfer of the strain in humans. This is because the flu effect culls when exposed to a temperature of above 60-degree Celsius and chicken is usally cooked at 100 degrees or more.
Recently in the budget season of the Parliament, Minister of state for health Ashwini Choubey, told Lok Sabha that strains of H5N1, H5N8, and H5 have been detected in India so far.
WHO has also highlighted that people get infected with the strain on direct contact with the birds, which is a normal thing for poultry farm workers but not for most of the humans out there.