Tuesday, November 13, 2007

UK Outbreak: H5N1 Confirmed

The British government and the EU confirmed that sick poultry on a Suffolk farm is infected with the H5N1 strain, one similar to strains found in Germany and the Czech Republic this past summer. The similarities suggest that wild birds may be the source of this strain. It is early for bird migration and there have been no reports of sick or dying wild birds in the area, raising questions as to the true source.

There are many poultry farms and a high density of poultry in the area, and officials fear the virus may have spread and that there may be resistance to disclosure of sick birds. Thousands of turkeys are being culled this week and officials have set up a 3km protection area and a 10km surveillance area to prevent further spread of the disease. Trade restrictions have also been imposed to ensure no infected poultry are shipped within or outside the area.

Responding to farmers' concerns Fred Landeg, the chief veterinary officer, said: "Outside of the restricted zone poultry farms will be able to trade freely within Europe. Within the restricted zone there is a complex series of measures which will allow some trade to continue under certain conditions."

This is the fourth H5N1 outbreak among poultry in the UK this year.

Full Story: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSBRU00612320071113;

No comments: