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Burkina Faso government confirms Bird Flu outbreak

The government of Burkina Faso has confirmed that an outbreak of H5N1 avian flu was responsible for the deaths of large numbers of chickens in two regions of the country in recent weeks.

Jean Paul Rouamba, minister for livestock, said tests had been carried out by the United Nations experts after a wave of deaths in traditional and modern poultry farms in February and March.

The deaths occurred in Kadiogo province in Centre region and Sanguie in Centre-West region, Rouamba said on state radio. Burkina Faso last battled an outbreak of avian flu in 2006.

Three people tested for bird flu as chicken cull begins

Three people have tested negative for bird flu after a "low severity" outbreak at a farm in Upham, Hampshire.

Officials revealed the results of the trio's tests today, as they prepared to slaughter 10,000 chickens to control the outbreak.

A sign for a closed road in the village of Upham in Hampshire, as experts are working to establish the source of an outbreak of bird flu at a farm in the village Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A 1km poultry restriction zone has been imposed, and the birds at the unnamed commercial chicken breeding farm are set to be culled, after evidence of the H7 bird flu strain was confirmed on Friday.


Hampshire MP 'very concerned' by news of bird flu

A Hampshire MP has said he is "very concerned" by news that bird flu had been detected at a farm in the Upham area.

George Hollingbery MP said the farm was in the Upham area Credit: Google Maps

George Hollingbery, who represents the Meon Valley constituency, said health experts had reassured him that the risk of danger to the public was "very low".

The news of an outbreak of avian flu in Upham is obviously very concerning and I've been liaising closely with Public Health England, based in Fareham, Hampshire County Council and Defra throughout today to ensure I’m kept up to date with developments.

It appears that all precautions have taken place to ensure this problem is dealt with effectively and the experts are doing all they can to identify exactly what type of H7 strain it could be.

Most importantly, I have been told that presently any danger to the public is very low and this is very welcome news. The strain is a mild one and is not similar to the recent outbreak at a duck farm in East Yorkshire.

However, there is no doubt the authorities are taking it very seriously and regular updates will be issued in due course.

– George Hollingbery MP

Cull ordered at bird flu farm 'to stop strain mutating'

Animal health experts have revealed birds at a farm in Hampshire will be culled as a precautionary measure, as the low-severity strain identified can mutate to become more deadly.

A spokeswoman for the Animal and Plant Health Agency said a 1km cordon had been put in place around the farm to prevent the movement of poultry - though she declined to confirm where in Hampshire the farm was.

The cull has been ordered as a precautionary measure Credit: PA

The restricted zone, which will be in force for 21 days, also bans the movement of eggs, mammals, and manure during that timeframe.

It is believed the strain is H7 - significantly less serious than the H5N8 strain found at a Yorkshire duck farm in November.

The spokeswoman told ITV News that this type of the virus did not spread as quickly or easily, and causes less severe illnesses in the birds themselves.

However, on rare occasions the H7 strain had been known to mutate into high-severity strains, she added, which is why a precautionary cull had been ordered.

'No risk to food' from bird flu found at chicken farm

Food safety experts have assured people that there is no risk to humans from bird flu.

It comes after a low-severity strain of the virus - H7 - was detected at a chicken breeding farm in Hampshire.

On the basis of current scientific evidence, Food Standards Agency advice is that avian (bird) flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

Laboratory investigations on the outbreak indicate that it is the N7 sub-type of H7 but this will need to be confirmed in further testing.

– Food Standards Agency spokesman

The government's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) have yet to name the farm involved.

1km cordon imposed around bird flu infected farm

A 1km cordon has been imposed around a Hampshire chicken farm after a low-severity strain of bird flu was found. The H7 strain is much less dangerous than the H5N8 strain detected in Yorkshire in November, and government experts say there is no link between the two cases.

The birds will now be culled Credit: PA

The birds at the commercial chicken breeding farm will now be culled, and the country's chief vet has urged poultry keepers nearby to stay alert as the poultry movement restriction zone was put into force.

We have taken immediate action to contain this outbreak as part of our robust procedures for dealing swiftly with avian flu. This is a low severity form of the virus and we are taking action to ensure that the disease does not spread or develop into a more severe form.

We are investigating the possible sources of the outbreak.

I would urge poultry keepers in the surrounding area to be vigilant for any signs of disease and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.

– Nigel Gibbens, Chief Vet


Bird flu case found on duck breeding farm in Yorkshire

There has been an outbreak of bird flu on a British duck breeding farm according to The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

There has been an outbreak of bird flu on a British duck breeding farm. Credit: The Canadian Press, Richard Lam

Defra said it has confirmed at least one case of the virus at the farm in Yorkshire but they insisted the risk to public health is "very low", and said they have ruled out H5N1 but are embarking on a cull of all poultry at the affected farm.

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.

New bird flu substrain a 'cause for concern'

The latest case of bird flu in China, which appears to be related to a substrain of the H10N8 virus, is already displaying some worrying characteristics, an expert in infectious diseases has said.

Dr Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, told BBC News:

We should always be worried when viruses cross the species barrier from birds or animals to humans as it is very unlikely that we will have prior immunity to protect us.

We should be especially worried when those viruses show characteristics that suggest they have the capacity to replicate easily or to be virulent or resistant to drugs. This virus ticks several of these boxes and therefore is a cause for concern.

– Dr Jeremy Farrar, director, Wellcome Trust

New form of bird flu claims first confirmed victim

A new and deadly form of bird flu has claimed its first confirmed human life.

A cull of more than 20,000 birds at a poultry market in Shanghai last year. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

The previously-unknown substrain of the H10N8 virus killed a woman who was admitted to hospital in China with fever and pneumonia, test results revealed.

The 73-year-old woman, from Nanchang City in Jiangxi province, died nine days after becoming ill despite antibiotic and antiviral treatment. She visited a live poultry market a few days prior to infection, suggesting an incubation time of around four days - similar to that of other bird flu strains.

The strain is believed to have spread from poultry and may pose a pandemic threat to the human population, experts said.

Reports suggest at least one other person is critically ill in hospital after being infected by the same strain in Jiangxi Province.

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