Saturday, May 26, 2007

Four People Test Positive For Bird Flu

Nine people have developed bird flu-like symptoms after coming into contact with birds on a chicken farm in north Wales - although only four are said to have contracted the virus.

Health officials have stressed that the type of flu found is not the potentially deadly H5-N1 strain.

The outbreak was on a smallholding in Corwen where 15 chickens died. A further 30 birds were slaughtered.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) carried out tests on specimens from nine people associated with the incident - seven from Wales and two from north west England.

Of the four positive results, two were from Wales and two were from north west England.

The National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) said virologists had advised that the five people who had not tested positive should also be considered to have had the H7 influenza virus.

It said 23 people have been identified who have been in contact with the chickens on the smallholding in the last seven days or with people who have been ill.

Dr Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, previously said it was not the most dangerous H5N1 strain but H7N2 low pathogenic avian influenza.

Dr Marion Lyons, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at the NPHS for Wales, said: “The source of the outbreak of illness is clearly identified as the chickens on the smallholding.

“These have all been culled so the original source has been destroyed.

“Although the number of people involved is very small, we could be dealing with some spread of the H7 flu virus within the household setting. We are treating this possibility very seriously.”

Bird flu story source: SKY NEWS

Posted by john T. on 05/26 at 06:04 AM
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