Bird flu expected to arrive in Britain
Bird flu is expected to reach Britain within days after the deadly H5N1 form of the virus swept across Europe.india Updated: Feb 19, 2006 12:00 IST
Bird flu is expected to reach Britain within days after the deadly H5N1 form of the virus swept across Europe, the Middle East and south east Asia.
The Government in London conceded last night that it is now likely that bird flu will arrive in Britain, as the National Farmers Union told members to prepare to take poultry indoors at short notice.
Germany, France and Holland are among the countries that want tougher measures across all European Union countries to prevent domestic poultry being infected by migrations of wild birds.
Samples from a duck that died of bird flu near Lyon, in France, have been sent for tests to a laboratory in Weybridge, Surrey, but French officials have already said that there is a 90 per cent chance it was the deadly H5N1 strain.
The results are expected in a day.
Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Germany have found the virus in birds, while suspected samples from Austria and Hungary are being tested at Weybridge laboratory.
French officials are testing two more dead ducks found in a wildlife reserve at the mouth of the Somme river near the north coast.
If they are found to have died from the H5N1 virus, then deadly bird flu is just 100 km from Britain.
Austrian officials disclosed on Saturday that H5N1 has been detected in Vienna.
The discovery of the virus in a dead swan follows earlier confirmation that it was found elsewhere in the country.