Azara Blog: H5N1 bird flu hits England

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Date published: 2007/02/03

The BBC says:

The avian flu which killed 2,600 turkeys at a Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk has been confirmed as the Asian strain of the H5N1 virus.

The virus can be fatal if it is passed on to humans but experts said the outbreak was being contained and posed little danger to people's health.

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency carried out the tests which confirmed the outbreak in Holton.

The slaughter of nearly 160,000 turkeys has begun at the farm as a precaution.

A spokeswoman for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the birds were being gassed in containers and the operation would continue through the night.

The government department earlier said the flu was the "highly pathogenic" Asian strain, similar to a virus that was found in Hungary in January.

A bit of a disaster but an inevitable one. Birds migrate, and farms near the east coast are the most susceptible.

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