Sunday, May 27, 2007

Four People In Wales Test Positive For Bird Flu

The United Kingdom has its first human bird flu infections. Four in total, who are believed to have become infected after an outbreak of the virus on a farm in North Wales.

The good news is that the virus is reportedly not the horrific H5N1 strain, but the "low pathogenic" H7N2 strain :
The HPA (Health Protection Agency) carried out tests on specimens from nine people associated with the incident - seven from Wales and two from north-west England.

Yesterday, 30 chickens were slaughtered at the smallholding in Corwen after 15 birds died.

Tests were carried out after the farm's owners contacted their own vet. A 1km restriction zone has been set up around the farm, stopping birds and bird products being moved in or out of the area. Pat Troop, chief executive of the HPA, said: "As a routine precaution, we have tested those who were associated with the infected or dead birds and reported flu-like symptoms.

"These test results confirm that human infection with the avian flu virus has occurred. The cases so far have been associated with the infected birds."
Nine people reported flu-like symptons, but only four tested positive for H7N2. Maybe I'm reading that wrong, but it seems curious that nine people would all report flu-like symptoms after coming into contact with infected poultry birds.

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