An outbreak of the bird flu, also known as the avian flu, has been discovered on a chicken farm. The finding has lead to swift action to ensure it does not spread. This is the second case since November, when the bird flu was found on a duck farm. The source of the bird flu outbreak has not yet been discovered. However, researchers are working tirelessly to find the source and ensure it is removed before other birds can be infected, possibly spreading to humans as well.
According to BBC News, the outbreak was found on a chicken farm in Hampshire. Tests on the birds showed that they were infected with the H7 strain of the bird flu, which poses a ‘low severity’ risk to humans. However, another case was found in November at a duck farm in Yorkshire, where the more dangerous H5N8 strain was found. According to the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, the cases are not related to one another. Still, all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure the bird flu does not spread.
George Hollingberry, MP, is still concerned that the avian flu was found, despite the low risk to humans.
“[It] is obviously very concerning and I’ve been liaising closely with Public Health England, based in Fareham, Hampshire County Council and Defra throughout today to ensure I’m kept up to date with developments.here is no doubt the authorities are taking it very seriously and regular updates will be issued in due course.”
Metro U.K. shared that immediate action was taken to contain the area where the outbreak was discovered. Authorities are working swiftly, enacting robust procedures, to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Chief Vet Nigel Gibbons warned surrounding poultry farmers to look for signs of the disease.
“I would urge poultry keepers in the surrounding area to be vigilant for any signs of disease and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.”
Nick Phin, the director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, reassured that the H7 strain of bird flu is a low human risk and that the actions taken by authorities should ensure it is not spread to humans.
“Based on what we know about this strain of avian influenza and the actions that have been taken, the risk to human health in this case is considered very low.”
[Photo Courtesy: Special Broadcasting Service]