A case of bird flu has been out brook at a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed at least one case of the virus at the farm in the Driffield area of east Yorkshire. But it insisted the risk to public health was very low, and said it was culling all poultry at the stricken farm.
Defra confirmed the outbreak it was investigating was the H5 virus, but said it was not the H5N1 strain, which has caused serious concern in recent years.
The virus spreads between birds and, in rare cases, can affect humans.The government there has temporarily banned the transport of poultry and eggs.
A Defra spokeswoman said, “We have confirmed a case of avian flu on a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire – the public health risk is very low and there is no risk to the food chain. We are taking immediate and robust action which includes introducing a 10km restriction zone and culling all poultry on the farm to prevent any potential spread of infection. A detailed investigation is ongoing. We have a strong track record of controlling and eliminating previous outbreaks of avian flu in the UK.”
The NHS website states, “Bird flu, or avian flu, is an infectious viral illness that spreads among birds. In rare cases it can affect humans.”
A Public Health England spokesman said: “Public Health England are assisting Defra in the investigation of an avian flu outbreak at a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire. Based on what we know about this specific strain of avian influenza the risk to human health in this case is considered extremely low.”
But H5N1 and H7N9 have caused serious concern in recent years.
H5N1 has a mortality rate of about 60% within infected humans, according to the World Health Organization. Hundreds of people have died from this strain after becoming infected in previous outbreaks.
H7N9 was first detected in China in 2013 and has led to dozens of deaths.