Bird Flu Outbreak- 13,000 chickens Set to be Culled at Farm in Cheshire.
Britain has been hit by another bird flu outbreak as 13,500 birds are set to be culled at a Cheshire farm. The outbreak of the H5N2 avian influenza was identified in Helsby, near Frodsham, on Monday. Public health officials said the risk to the public was ‘very low,’ while properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, still remain safe to eat.
Further testing is currently ongoing to determine if the strain which has been found is a highly pathogenic strain – and whether it is related to the virus currently circulating in Europe. The Cheshire case is unrelated to the H5N2 strain which was confirmed in at small commercial premises near Deal in Kent earlier this week.
Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, said: “Avian flu has been confirmed at a commercial farm near Frodsham in Cheshire. Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading and all remaining poultry at the farm will be culled.”
She added: “Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises. We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it.”
Dr Gavin Dabrera, Consultant in Acute Respiratory Infections at PHE said: “There have never been any confirmed cases of H5N8 in humans and the risk to public health is considered very low. “We continue to work closely with Defra throughout this investigation.”
A detailed investigation is in progress to determine the most likely source of this outbreak.
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