Italy: Poultry worker contracts H7N7 avian influenza
With four confirmed outbreaks of H7N7 avian influenza reported in Italy since mid-August, thousands of birds have been culled to prevent the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) from further spread.
Now the Italian Ministry of Health is reporting a human case of the H7N7 bird flu in a poultry worker.
According to a Health Ministry statement (computer translated to English):
“The National Institute of Health had recorded a positive for the H7N7 avian influenza virus in a person suffering from conjunctivitis and occupationally exposed to sick birds belonging to the farms in the region of Emilia Romagna, in which it was found to have such viral infection. The H7N7 virus is not easily transmitted to humans, which can become infected only if it is to be situated in direct contact with a sick or dead animal.
“Unlike other avian viruses (such as H7N9 or H5N1), H7N7 tends to give the man a mild disease (such as conjunctivitis), as already observed in a human outbreak occurred years ago in the Netherlands. Being rare transmission from person to person, the human outbreaks tend to self-restraint, so the risk of community is extremely low or even negligible.
“The Emilia Romagna Region, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, having readily identified outbreaks animals, has taken all the necessary procedures to bring the infection under control.”
The four outbreaks this year are the first outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Italian poultry since 2000.
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