Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) The new H5N2 and H5N8 avian influenza virus strains recently detected on poultry farms in Taiwan are not transmissible to humans, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Saturday.
An analysis of the genome sequence of the viruses indicates that they are of avian origin and entered Taiwan recently, according to CDC deputy chief Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥). The H5N2 and H5N8 strains did not mutate from viruses found previously in Taiwan, he said.
The H5N8 virus isolated in Taiwan is highly homologous with the strains found in South Korea, Japan, the United States, Canada and Germany and it shows weak ability to replicate in mammals, Chuang said.
Compared with the H7N9 virus that can infect humans, the H5N8 virus is significantly less risky, he said.
He stressed the new H5N2 and H5N8 outbreaks in Taiwan are limited to poultry and that there have been no reports of human infection. The CDC will continue to monitor the outbreaks and check for any mutations of the viruses, he added.