Saturday, February 03, 2007

United Kingdom : 1000 Turkeys Dead From Bird Flu On Farm

The H5 strain of avian influenza makes an unwelcome return to Britain. Test results pending on whether the virus that killed 1000 turkeys in Suffolk is the far more lethal H5N1 strain.

From the UK Guardian :
An outbreak of bird flu at a turkey farm in Suffolk has killed more than 1,000 birds, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said last night.

Preliminary tests at a Bernard Matthews farm in Holton, near Lowestoft, where there are three factories, found traces of the H5 virus in the poultry. Further tests are necessary to determine whether it is the H5N1 strain, which can be deadly to humans, a spokesman said.

Government vets were called to the site late on Thursday after hundreds of birds showed signs of illness that included going off their food and general malaise, symptoms associated with bird flu.

A Defra spokesman that the farmer had noticed "significant mortality" among his flock and that the site had been placed under restrictions.

In May, 50,000 chickens were culled after an outbreak of the H7 bird flu in Norfolk.

In April, a poultry worker contracted H7 in the form of conjunctivitis - he is thought to have caught it on the Norfolk farm where the disease was discovered.

A swan found washed up in a Scottish bay in March tested positive for H5N1.

Last month the Department of Health announced that thousands of poultry workers are to be offered free influenza jabs in an attempt to stop new forms of bird flu emerging.

UK Bird Flu Outbreak May Prompt Massive Poultry Cull Of 150,000 Birds

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