WHO says human H5N8 risk low as more H5N6 reported | CIDRAP – More political-economic assessment over health assessment, it appears.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in an assessment yesterday, said that while human risk of contracting H5N8 avian flu cannot be excluded, there is so far little evidence that the current H5N8 strain will mutate and infect humans.H5N8 has circulated the globe since 2014, when it first appeared in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom. In late 2014, the strain came to North America, and last year H5N8 viruses were also detected in Taiwan, China, Hungary, and Sweden. The strain can infect both wild birds and poultry, and people have minimal to no immunity from the virus.The current clade has been found in 11 countries: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and Switzerland. It was initially detected in Tyva, Russia, in May of 2016, and has followed migratory bird patterns, first appearing in India and then moving west to central Europe, the WHO said.The agency said it expects more countries will report cases in the coming weeks, following bird migration patterns.

Source: WHO says human H5N8 risk low as more H5N6 reported | CIDRAP