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Infectious diseases

Case of bird flu confirmed in UK

A case of avian influenza has been confirmed in the UK by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

A 10km restriction zone, which prevents the movement of all poultry, products and waste within the area, has been set up around the duck farm in Yorkshire. 

The case was confirmed on 16 November 2014 as a strain of H5 avian flu. Public Health England has already ruled out the H5N1 strain which is infectious to humans. It is carrying out further tests but says that the public health risk is extremely low. There is also no food safety risk, according to the Food Standards Agency.

Tests are also under way to discover whether the outbreak is linked to cases recently confirmed in Germany and the Netherlands, according to Defra and the government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency.

The strain of avian influenza was confirmed as H5N8 by Defra animal health scientists on 18 November 2014. Confirmation of the strain came as the cull of the farm’s 6,000 ducks got underway.

  • This article was amended on 19 November 2014 to include information about the confirmed strain and to clarify that the cull is now underway, rather than complete, as previously reported.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20067180

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