According to the news agency Reuters, Russia has registered the first cases of human infection with H5N8, a strain of bird flu virus. So far outbreaks of the H5N8 strain have only been detected in poultry and wild birds. Russia informed the WHO about the incident. The infected persons did not develop severe symptoms and so far no human to human transmission was observed.
Over the last years, the H5N8 variant has repeatedly caused outbreaks in Europe (e.g. in France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK). Last autumn, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) issued a warning against an increasingly rapid spread of this strain in Europe. In 2020 more than 300 cases were reported. However, most of the infections were registered in wild birds. The disease is often transmitted by migratory birds. Therefore, many farmers keep poultry indoors. To protect the animals efficiently, a thorough cleaning and disinfection of boots, garments, equipment and other contact areas is absolutely necessary before entering stables.