UK poultry can roam free outside again, but bird flu risk hasn't gone away

United Kingdom
Published Apr 22, 2023

Tridge summary

The UK government recently announced that as of April 18, poultry and captive birds can be kept outside again as the threat from bird flu eases. These mandatory housing measures were introduced across England and Wales in the autumn of 2022 following the unprecedented spread of bird flu in the UK and Europe.

Original content

Indeed, the past two winters in the UK have seen our largest and most prolonged outbreak of bird flu in modern times, leading to substantial controls in poultry production, the mass death of seabirds, cases in wild mammals and a single human case. So how did we get here, and has the threat in the UK really receded? Let's take a look. Avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, is caused by the influenza A virus which can lead to disease in many hosts including humans. However, its ability to infect and transmit to different hosts depends on which subtype or serotype of influenza A is involved. Influenza A serotypes are designated based on two proteins found on the virus's surface called neuraminidase (N) and haemagglutinin (H), each of which come in several different types. The combination of H and N types (for example, H5N1, H1N1 or H3N2) defines the serotype. Within the serotype there can also be a number of variants called clades. The current outbreak in the UK and elsewhere ...
Source: Phys
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