Health officials in Britain said on Thursday they had identified a rare case of avian flu in a person, as the country grapples with its biggest outbreak of the virus among birds.
The UK Health Protection Agency (UKHSA) said that bird-to-human transmission of avian flu is very rare and has previously occurred much less frequently in the UK.
The infected person in south-west England was said to be “cured” and was self-isolating, it added.
“The person acquired the infection from regular contact with a large number of infected birds, which they kept in and around their home for extended periods of time,” UKHSA said in a statement.
“All contacts of the person, including those who visited the premises, have been traced and there is no evidence of further transmission of the infection to anyone else.”
The agency noted that the risk to the wider public from avian flu remained “very low,” but cautioned people not to touch sick or dead birds.
Britain killed nearly half a million birds in 2021 as it grapples with the country’s “largest ever” avian flu outbreak, according to Environment Secretary George Eustice.
As well as killing, the government implemented new rules in December that require all captive birds to follow strict biosecurity measures to ensure they stay indoors and try to stop the spread of the virus.
However, officials have expressed concern that wild birds migrating from mainland Europe during the winter months may be carrying the disease.
Geese, ducks and swans are among wild bird species known to be affected, while many birds of prey have also been confirmed dead.
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