Thousands of chickens will be killed to control bird flu disease in the UK

Yvonne O'Halloran

An outbreak of bird flu has been found at a poultry farm in Cheshire UK, resulting in 13,500 chickens being culled to help slow the spread of the highly pathogenic strain, H5N8.

H5N8 is a type of Influenza A virus which causes serious disease in chickens as well as swans, pigeons, ducks and other birds. It currently poses little risk to human life, though can cause flu-like symptoms and respiratory problems.

The news comes just one week after the bird flu variant was identified as circling Europe, causing 36,000 birds to be killed at a Dutch broiler breeder farm.

The global spread of bird flu poses a significant pandemic threat, as the virus may mutate and become transmittable between humans in a similar way that COVID-19 has.

Public Health England consultant Dr Gavin Dabrera has said: “Avian influenza remains an uncommon infection in humans and the risk to the UK population remains very low.

“We will continue working with Defra and the local Health Protection Team to monitor the situation closely. Do not touch any sick or dead birds. And also make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap after contact with any animal.”

Article written by Martha Moody- United Kingdom


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