The UK reports bird flu for the first time since 2017

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LONDON: Britain’s government said bird flu had been confirmed at a chicken farm in eastern England on Tuesday, the first such report since June 2017.

Some 27,000 birds at the farm would be slaughtered following the discovery of the H5 strain, which the agriculture ministry described as “low pathogenic.”

“The risk to public health from the virus is very low,” health authorities added. “Thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.”

About Bird Flu

Bird Flu or Avian influenza refers to infection of birds with avian influenza Type A viruses.

These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Wild aquatic birds can be infected with avian influenza A viruses in their intestines and respiratory tract, but usually do not get sick. However, avian influenza A viruses are very contagious among birds and some of these viruses can sicken and even kill certain domesticated bird species including chickens, ducks, and turkeys.

Infected birds can shed avian influenza A viruses in their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces. Susceptible birds become infected when they have contact with the virus as it is shed by infected birds. They also can become infected through contact with surfaces that are contaminated with viruses from infected birds.

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