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Avian influenza
Avian influenza outbreak in Yorkshire: strain identified as H5N8

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DEFRA reported on November 18 that the virus responsible for an outbreak of avian influenza on a Yorkshire duck farm was highly pathogenic H5N8, the same strain responsible for an outbreak reported in the Netherlands. It said that this strain of avian influenza was ‘of very low risk to human health and no risk to the food chain’, and that 6000 ducks on the farm were being humanely killed. Epidemiological investigations were underway to trace the source of the virus.

In a statement in the House of Commons on November 17, Elizabeth Truss, the Secretary of State at Defra, said that a private veterinarian had reported a possible case of a notifiable disease on the affected premises on November 14. A government vet had visited the premises the same day and had submitted samples to the APHA's Weybridge laboratory. The premises had been immediately placed under restriction. Investigations were ongoing to discover the origin of the virus, including whether it was linked to recent cases in the Netherlands …

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