The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement that Russian authorities have noticed signs of "human infection with avian influenza H5N8" amongst human beings. This is the first occurrence of the flu infecting human beings.
A European representative for WHO said that if the virus is confirmed to be a case of the H5N8 flu, it would go down in history as one of the first cases of bird flu infecting human beings.
The flu was noticed in workers that had contact with birds
From an initial investigation carried out by WHO and Russian authorities, it was discovered that the virus was found amongst workers that had contact with flocks of birds.
The investigation report added that the infected workers are "asymptomatic and no onward human to human transmission has been observed".
Anna Popova-The director of Russia's institution that watches the products consumers eat and protects their welfare- said during her statement that the strain of bird flu has infected dozens of workers on various poultry farms in the country.
Russian authorities are reportedly gathering more information about the cases.
The avian flu outbreak has not been confirmed by WHO
Although the Russian health authorities and stakeholders said they are currently in talks with national leaders to glean more information about the infections and determine their possible impact on the Russian economy, the virus has still not been corroborated by WHO.
According to Russian authorities, the bird flu has many strains that mostly affect birds, which makes the current news troubling, especially with the coronavirus still raging in different parts of the world.
Previous human cases were caused by their proximity to infected birds or surfaces that were tainted with biological waste from the infected birds.
In 2014, the current flu strain (H5N8) led to a huge infection of many birds in poultry farms. Some European countries affected were Germany and the Netherlands.