FAO and WHO in Vietnam have issued a press release urging the Vietnamese Government and the public to keep vigilance on the H5N8 human infection upon the detection of seven farm workers infected with the influenza A (H5N8) in a chicken farm in Russia, the Ministry of Health said on March 3. Illustrative image (Photo: VNA) This is the first report of H5N8 poultry-to-human infection despite the virus having been circulating in poultry and wild birds since 2016. All the seven human cases were asymptomatic. To date, there is no evidence to suggest that severe human infections or human-to-human transmission of this virus have occurred and that this event likely represents isolated spillover of virus from infected chickens to humans. In Vietnam, the Department of Animal Health (DAH) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has never detected H5N8 virus in their surveillance systems. The DAH is going to increase testing for H5N8 virus in the national avian influenza surveillance programme starting from 2021. "Technically the H5N8 virus share antigenic characteristics with the H5N6 virus circulating in Vietnam, the current avian influenza vaccine used in Vietnam should remain effective to prevent the disease in poultry," said Dr Pawin… Read full this story
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