Bird Flu Latest

Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens has today confirmed that the strain of Avian Influenza found on the premises near Banbury in Oxfordshire is highly pathogenic H7N7.

Preliminary analysis also indicates that this H7N7 strain is likely to be related to viruses which have occasionally been detected in domestic poultry and wild birds elsewhere in Europe. Further laboratory tests are in progress. The full epidemiological investigation and tracings of any dangerous contacts are underway and all possible sources of the outbreak will be investigated.

The Health Protection Agency has confirmed that the risk to public health remains low. Following confirmation of the virus subtype as H7N7, the Agency has reviewed current procedures based on the best evidence available. They remain confident that all necessary steps are being taken to protect those people who may have been exposed to the virus on the premises or involved in disease control activities.

Protection and Surveillance Zones have replaced the Temporary Control Zone established on 3 June around the premises in Oxfordshire. The restrictions that applied in the Temporary Control Zone remain in place.

Further information on the animal health aspects of avian influenza and current restrictions is available on the Defra website Farmers are urged to be vigilant and report signs of disease to a private vet or local Animal Health Office.

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