Popova, director of the Consumer Protection and Public Welfare Supervision Bureau of the Russian Federation, confirmed on the 20th that seven people have been found to be infected with the H5N8 avian influenza virus in Russia, which is the first time in the world that a person has been infected with the avian influenza virus.
Russian media quoted Popova as saying that in December last year, an outbreak of bird flu broke out in a farm in southern Russia, and seven employees of the farm were diagnosed with infection.
Experts from the Russian “Vector” National Center for Virology and Biotechnology isolated the genetic material of the virus from the seven employees.
Popova said that she had informed the World Health Organization of the matter, “this is the first time that a person has been infected with the avian influenza virus in the world”.
Popova said that Russia has taken relevant necessary measures immediately.
The symptoms of the seven infected people are mild. At present, no human-to-human transmission has been found, but it is not ruled out that the future mutation of the virus will lead to human-to-human transmission.
Popova said, “This virus does not spread from person to person at present, but only time can tell us how long it will have this ability after a mutation in the future. The virus gives us all and the world time to prepare for possible mutations, including timely responses, and the development of testing systems and vaccines.”
Rinat Maksutov, director of Russia’s “Vector” National Center for Virology and Biotechnology, said on the 20th that it is now possible to start to develop a detection system and a human candidate vaccine to deal with the H5N8 avian influenza virus.
During the live broadcast of Russia’s Channel 1, Mark Shutov said: “The rapid cracking of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus allows us to start developing a detection system from today to detect infected people in time and treat patients. At the same time, the development of candidate vaccines can also be launched.”
An anonymous immunologist told the Global Times on the 21st that human infection with avian influenza is increasing in recent years, in addition to the previous H5N1, and H7N9 in 2013.
At present, the influenza vaccine on the market mainly prevents seasonal influenza in winter and spring, and has no direct effect on preventing avian influenza variants that infect people.
But the relevant technology is very mature, and if there is a large-scale spread of bird flu, targeted vaccines can be prepared quickly.” H5N8 is a new virus for humans, which means that the protection of the original seasonal influenza virus vaccine may be invalid.
However, because the influenza vaccine research and development process is relatively mature and there are better vaccine strains, generally only need to replace the effective antigen epitope of H5N8, and it should be able to develop effective for H5N8 quickly.
Vaccine.” That said, after the virus mutates, it only takes adjustments to an existing flu vaccine, and not necessarily develop a new vaccine from start to end.” It only takes some adjustments to make a new influenza vaccine, and the whole vaccine production line and production process do not have to be changed significantly.
However, the expert still suggests that in order to effectively prevent the transmission of avian influenza, chicken duck and goose should be heated, do not touch the carcasses of birds, pay attention to processing poultry meat, and it is best not to buy live poultry, contact live poultry, etc.