Reading Time: < 1 minute Officials say seven workers at a poultry plant have contracted the virus Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission. Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
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Russia has confirmed the first case of a bird flu strain being passed to humans.

Officials say seven workers at a poultry plant have contracted the H5N8 variant of the virus. 

‘Possible mutations’

According to the BBC, head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog Anna Popova said all the workers are now ‘feeling well’. She also said that ‘adequate measures had been quickly taken’ to stop the disease from spreading. 

Popova added: “The discovery of these mutations when the virus has not still acquired an ability to transmit from human to human gives us all, the entire world, time to prepare for possible mutations and react in an adequate and timely fashion.”

Bird flu strain

Last year, the UK government ordered all birds to be kept inside ‘to eradicate’ avian flu.

The measures came into force on December 14, following multiple outbreaks of bird flu on UK farms.  One outbreak was discovered on a farm in North Yorkshire, where a confirmed case of the H5N8 virus saw 10,000 turkeys be killed. 

A joint statement from Great Britain’s three Chief Veterinary Officers said: “We have taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease and are now planning to introduce a legal requirement for all poultry and captive bird keepers to keep their birds housed or otherwise separate from wild birds.

“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.”

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.