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UK: Avian Influenza Epidemiology Report Published

Avian Influenza epidemiology report published

Defra has today published an epidemiology report into the Avian Influenza outbreak confirmed in Oxfordshire on 4 June.

The report concludes that, at the time of writing (11 June), the outbreak is confined to a single premises, and there is no evidence of infection in the Protection Zone or of spread to any other premises. However, investigations continue.

The report suggests that it is possible that the Highly Pathogenic H7N7 Avian influenza derived from a Low Pathogenic strain already present on the farm, analysis and investigations are ongoing, and a number of source hypotheses are being considered.

Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens, said

"The UK is at a constant but low level of risk of the introduction of Avian Influenza, and the report highlights the need for flock owners and poultry vets to remain vigilant for signs of disease, including the possibility of low pathogenic Avian Influenza. I would encourage all keepers to maintain good quality records and practise high standards of biosecurity."

The Protection and Surveillance Zones remain in place. Further surveillance, testing and epidemiological work on this outbreak are ongoing.

NOTES

1. The report can be viewed at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/notifiable/disease/ai/latest-situation/index.htm

2. An indicative timeline to lifting Avian Influenza restrictions in Oxfordshire has been published to help poultry and egg producers and others whose business is affected by disease control restrictions. It can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/notifiable/disease/ai/latest-situation/index.htm

3. Advice and information on H7N7 avian influence is available via the Defra Helpline. Poultry keepers can also call the Animal Health recorded information line for the latest updates.

4. Avian Influenza is a disease of birds and whilst it can pass very rarely and with difficulty to humans, this usually requires extremely close contact with infected birds, particularly faeces. As a precautionary measure those who might have been exposed would be offered the appropriate treatment and protection in line with established protocols. Advice from the Food Standards Agency remains that properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Client ref News Release ref : 190/08
COI ref 162186P

ENDS

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