A poultry worker in Italy's Emilia Romagna region has tested positive for H7N7 avian influenza, according to Italy's Ministry of Health. However, the agency says there is limited risk of the virus spreading to other humans.
The infected person has been suffering from conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Unlike other avian influenza viruses, such as H7N9 or H5N1, H7N7 typically only causes mild diseases, such as conjunctivitis. According to the Ministry of Health, transmissions from birds to humans normally only occurs when a person has direct contact with a sick or dead animal, and the risk of spreading from human to human is almost negligible.
The human infection, which was confirmed on September 2, follows August outbreaks of avian influenza in Italy that have affected four locations. Authorities have set up protection and surveillance zones around the affected areas. Precautionary measures already taken include culling poultry and restricting movement of poultry and poultry products.