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Expect More Outbreaks in Europe, Bird Flu Expert Warns

Top bird flu expert Dr.David Nabarro, Senior U.N. Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza has warned of more bird flu outbreaks in Europe. //

Speaking from Indonesia where he is attending a bird flu conference, Nabarro said that more cases of outbreaks could be expected up to May, as this is the time when migratory birds come in contact with domesticated fowl.

Friday last a turkey farm at Suffolk, UK was witness to the death of 2500 of the birds due to the feared avian influenza virus H5N1.

The remaining birds out of a total of 160,000 turkeys are being culled, a process which is expected to take 36 hours. Authorities have cordoned off the area to a radius of 3 km and are maintaining stringent measure to prevent spread of the disease.

Says Nabarro “British health officials are handling the outbreak in the proper way, the way that's been required by the European Commission and I believe that under these circumstances, we would be unlucky if other farms in the vicinity get affected."

There are fears of human cases though. The latest case confirmed by laboratory tests is that of a 22-year-old deceased female from Lagos, Nigeria.

"The initial positive test findings from a laboratory in Nigeria were confirmed by the WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza in London," the WHO says.

Tests of those who were in contact with the woman were negative for bird flu, according to WHO.

The British Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says there is no need of concern as bird flu passes very rarely to human except in cases of extreme close contact such as handling of bird feces.

The WHO also allays fears of humans being affected from infected fowl unless there is contact with raw infected blood, consumption of raw or undercooked poultry meat or close contact with infected birds.
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