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New Bird Flu Cases Confirmed in Britain and the Netherlands

November 18, 2014
Public Health

duckThe first case of bird flu since 2008 has been confirmed at a Yorkshire duck breeding farm. DEFRA officials have however stressed that while being of the H5 type, the virus involved was not H5N1 and the risk to public health was very low.

Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens told the BBC, “When we find this disease we take quick action to remove the birds as a possible source of further infection and we also restrict all the farms with birds in an area around it of 10km to look for possible further spread or possible other infected farms so we can get on top of those early as well.”

Some 6,000 ducks will be culled at the farm, while a six mile exclusion zone has been established around the area.

In an as yet unrelated outbreak, cases of H5N8 bird flu have been detected at a poultry farm in Hekendrop in the Netherlands where authorities have imposed a three day ban on the transportation of poultry and eggs. H5N8 is highly pathogenic to birds and first appeared in Europe earlier this month when turkeys at a farm in the German town of Heinrichswalde were found to be infected with the virus. Officials are now trying to find out if there is any possible link between the three outbreaks. The last recorded cases of the H5N8 strain were in South Korea where thousands of birds were culled in an attempt to stop the spread of the infection, which has never been detected in humans.