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Saturday, February 3rd 2007

H5N1 In Britain

The strain of avian flu associated with all 164 recorded worldwide deaths has reached a turkey farm in the UK.


An outbreak of bird flu which killed about 2,500 turkeys on a British poultry farm is the H5N1 strain of the virus, tests by an EU laboratory confirmed Saturday, the first time the strain has been detected on a farm in the country.

Luckily the workers are being given prophylactic anti-virals.

Health Protection Agency virologist Maria Zambon said the virus was not easily transmittable between humans and has not been found to be transmitted through food. She said workers at the farm had been offered antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and were wearing protective clothing.

We know how well those work.

As well just because it is H5N1 does not mean it shares all the properties with the viruses in Asia which have proven so lethal.

Further tests were expected to show if the strain of the virus was similar to that found in Asia, Britain’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, or DEFRA, said in a statement.