Bird flu: Two further poultry farm workers test positive in England

Both cases were detected in poultry farm workers. Credit: PA

Bird flu has been detected in two further people after they came into direct contact with infected birds, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

In its latest update, the agency said the two individuals were poultry farm workers and both cases were detected at different premises in England to previously reported infections.

There is still no evidence of human-to-human transmission, despite the new cases, with the UKHSA confirming the risk to humans remains at Level 3 - very low risk - out of six.

Dr Meera Chand, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections at UKHSA, said current evidence suggests bird flu, also known as avian flu, cases "around the world do not spread easily to people".

A total of four bird flu infections in humans have now been detected by the agency, following the launch of its asymptomatic testing programme last March. Since 2021, there have been five bird flu cases in the UK.

"These detections can follow contamination of the nose and throat from breathing in material from the environment, or can be due to infection," Dr Chand added.

"It can be difficult to distinguish these in people who have no symptoms. Following any detection, we will immediately initiate the appropriate public health response."

In recent weeks, bird flu outbreaks have been reported across the UK, including in Scotland where more than 1,000 dead birds have been collected from Aberdeenshire beaches.

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