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article imageBird flu case in the U.K.

By Tim Sandle     Nov 17, 2014 in Health
York - A case of bird flu has been detected at a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire, England. It is the U.K.'s first confirmed case of avian influenza since 2008.
As a result of the detection all 6,000 ducks on the farm will be culled and a 10-kilometre (six-mile) restriction zone has been put around the farm, although officials state that the risk to public health is "very low". The farm owners will be compensated by the British government, according to the BBC.
The exact strain has not been confirmed, although virologists suggest that the H5N1 form, which can make a species jump, is not the cause of the current infections.
Concerns about the potential risk to humans from avian flue have come about through some laboratory trials. Although the strain isolated on this occasion cannot make a species jump, the detection itself raises biosecurity concerns in terms of preventing other, potentially more harmful, strains. It is important the note that there has never been a case of human bird flu in northern Europe.
However, on Sunday, an outbreak of a highly contagious strain of bird flu was discovered at a poultry farm in the Netherlands. This has been confirmed as strain H5N8, which can potentially infect people (although close contact with infected birds is required.)
The previous time that bird flu was confirmed in the U.K. was when chickens on a farm in Banbury, Oxfordshire tested positive for the virus. It is hoped that the restrictions imposed around the duck farm will prevent the virus from spreading to other farms.
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