Outbreak of bird flu detected in Warwickshire
An outbreak of the deadliest H5N1 strain of bird flu has been detected today, Monday, November 8, in the county of Warwickshire in England. As a result, a protection zone of 3km (1.8 miles) has been declared. This action means that any poultry owners inside the zone must quarantine their birds.
A 10km (6.2 miles) surveillance zone is also in place. Poultry breeders within this area must also keep a strict record of any individual who visits their premises. Also, a veterinary inspector has to licence the movement of poultry or eggs out of the surveillance zone.
Last week, in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading among poultry, a nationwide prevention zone was declared. This strain of bird flu is considered to be highly pathogenic and fast-mutating, and the H5N1 subtype is not easy to immunise humans against.
The disease has a 52 per cent mortality rate according to data from the World Health Organisation. There were 863 infections, resulting in 456 deaths, in the period between 2003 and 2021.
Although epidemiologists caution against establishing the fatality rate by diving the number of known deaths by the number of confirmed cases, this rate makes it much higher than the 2 per cent global case fatality rate of Covid.
H5N1 outbreaks in Asia have led to millions of birds dying, and can lead to huge economic losses for farmers. Europe has been hit with similar outbreaks, with cases in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Italy. Last Friday 5, France raised its risk level to ‘high’, as reported by news.yahoo.com.