H5 strain of Avian Flu found in the UK

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Bird Flu in UK

Health officials in the United Kingdom are confirming that the H5 strain of the Avian Flu have been found in turkeys on Redgrave Park Farm in Suffolk, England. The farm is owned by Gressingham Foods.

"Everybody needs to be concerned, this is avian influenza. We are asking every poultry keeper to be vigilant, to house their birds where they are required to do so in any restricted area and carry out good bio-security measures and report any signs of disease," said Fred Landeg, a chief officer of veterinary medicine.

Health officials say that all of the birds on the farm, at least 5,000 ducks geese and turkeys, will be killed, and have designated a radius of three (1.9 miles) kilometers from the farm, a "protection zone" and are monitoring the situation from at least a 10 k.m. (6 mile) radius of the farm. It is not known if the virus has spread beyond the farm. All cars entering and exiting the area are reportedly being sprayed with a disinfectant. Any birds remaining on the farm are being kept indoors and away from any other wild birds.


"We will be looking at the movements on to the premises and off the premises of birds and movements of people, vehicles and things, to see whether there is another origin somewhere in the country or whether the disease could have spread," added Landeg.

So far there is no confirmation that the strain found is the deadly H5N1 flu virus, but officials say that they will know "within 24 hours."

Officials also say that the commission for the European Union have been notified.

In April of 2006, the deadly H5N1 virus was found in the remains of a wild Mute Swan in the village of Cellardyke in Fife, Scotland.

In February, poultry producer Bernard Matthews' farm in Suffolk had more than 160,000 birds killed after they were infected with the H5N1 virus.