UNITED KINGDOM, London. In Great Britain, the avian influenza virus has jumped from animals to a human. No other people have been infected so far.
In the southwest of Great Britain, a human being has fallen ill with avian influenza. According to the UK Health and Safety Authority (UKHSA) yesterday, the person in question contracted the disease through very close, regular contact with a large number of infected birds that they had kept in and around their home for an extended period of time. The agency pointed out that transmission of avian influenza from birds to humans is "very rare" and has "occurred only a few times so far" in the United Kingdom. Some strains of avian influenza could be transmitted. However, close contact with an infected bird is usually required for this to occur, he said.
According to UKHSA statements, all of the person's contacts, including those who visited the home, have already been identified. There is no evidence of infection of other people, he said. The infected person is currently well and isolating himself, he said. The health department continues to assess the risk to the general public from avian influenza as very low. Nevertheless, it warned against touching sick and dead birds. The United Kingdom's chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, said that avian influenza is highly contagious in birds. However, she said the current case is a "very rare event" due to the "special circumstances on this farm."
According to Middlemiss, there is currently a growing number of avian influenza outbreaks on farms as well as in backyard flocks nationwide. As a result, the veterinarian urged careful biosecurity measures by keepers.
Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE