Largest EVER hen flu outbreak means 48MILLION chickens have now been culled throughout UK and Europe
Practically 48 million birds have been culled this 12 months throughout Europe because of the greatest hen flu outbreak on file.
The extremely contagious virus – which consultants worry may unfold to people and spark one other pandemic – normally dies out in the summertime.
But this 12 months, hen flu has persevered all year long.
Authorities advisers have described the present state of affairs as “unprecedented” and farmers have warned that the availability of Christmas turkeys is doubtlessly in danger if the virus continues to unfold on poultry farms.
Charges are solely anticipated to soar as flocks of migrating birds begin arriving within the UK over the following few weeks.
The extremely contagious virus – which consultants worry may unfold to people and spark one other pandemic – normally dies out in the summertime. But this 12 months, hen flu persevered all 12 months
Pictured: Turkeys run free in a barn in Knutsford. The slaughter figures cowl the entire of Europe in addition to the UK, which has already killed 3 million chickens, turkeys and geese
BIRD INFLUENZA: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
What’s that? Avian influenza is the supply of all human influenzas, to our data.
It typically passes via one other animal, like a pig, mutating and adapting to contaminate us.
Wild birds are carriers, particularly by migration.
As they group collectively to breed, the virus spreads quickly and is then carried to different components of the globe.
The brand new strains have a tendency to look first in Asia, from the place greater than 60 species of shorebirds, waders and waterfowl, together with plovers, godwits and geese, head east. Alaska to breed and mingle with varied migratory birds from the Americas. Others go west and infect European species.
What pressure is at the moment spreading? H5N1.
Thus far, the brand new virus has been detected in some 80 million birds and poultry worldwide since September 2021, double the file from the earlier 12 months.
Not solely does the virus unfold at excessive velocity, but it surely additionally kills at an unprecedented degree, leaving some consultants to say it’s the deadliest variant to this point.
Thousands and thousands of chickens within the UK have been culled and final November our poultry trade was quarantined, severely affecting the provision of eggs from free vary hens.
Can it infect folks? Sure, however solely 864 folks have been contaminated with H5N1 worldwide since 2003 in 20 nations.
The chance to folks was deemed to be “low”.
However individuals are strongly urged to not contact sick or lifeless birds because the virus is lethal, killing 53% of individuals it manages to contaminate.
The slaughter figures cowl the entire of Europe in addition to the UK, which has already killed 3 million chickens, turkeys and geese.
The report, from European well being chiefs, dates again to September 9.
Thirty-seven nations – starting from the Norwegian islands of Svalbard to Ukraine – have recorded instances.
The European Meals Security Authority (EFSA), the European Middle for Illness Prevention and Management (ECDC) and the EU Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza, which have been behind the report, stated that “the geographic extent of the epidemic is unprecedented”.
There have been 161 instances of extremely pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in captive birds, in comparison with 26 instances in 2020/21.
Wild birds, particularly terns and gulls, have additionally been decimated by hen flu.
There have been 1,727 instances of hen flu in wild birds within the UK, in 406 areas and 59 hen species.
The Division for the Atmosphere (Defra) has declared Fowl Flu Prevention Zones all through Norfolk, Suffolk and components of Essex.
Within the newest outbreak, Defra stated on Friday hen flu was detected close to Bury St Edmunds and at two areas in Breckland Norfolk.
The UK’s chief veterinarian, Dr Christine Middlemiss, stated ranges of the illness in wild birds have been inflicting a rise.
She stated: “Sadly, we count on the variety of instances to proceed to rise over the approaching months as migratory birds return to the UK, bringing with them a further threat of illness that might unfold throughout the nation. our guarded flocks.”
The ECDC warns that hen flu has “the potential to significantly have an effect on public well being”, though within the present outbreak, to this point no people have but been contaminated in Western Europe.
The ECDC stated that regardless of the exceptionally excessive variety of instances lately detected in poultry and birds in addition to quite a few transmission occasions of avian influenza to totally different mammalian species, no human transmission has been noticed within the EU. /EEE in recent times.
However worldwide, between January 2003 and March 31, 2022, 863 instances of human an infection with the avian influenza A (H5N1) virus have been reported in 18 nations. Of those 455 instances have been deadly.
This map exhibits the components of England at the moment underneath extra biosecurity measures to stop the unfold of hen flu
Britain is grappling with the largest outbreak of hen flu on file, which has seen hundreds of thousands of home fowl culled and hundreds of untamed birds, like this northern gannet, additionally killed by the illness.
This map exhibits hen flu outbreaks detected on poultry farms and yard flocks since October final 12 months. Triangles with black dots point out the newest instances
This map exhibits the density of avian flu instances detected in wild birds, the darker pink areas point out a better variety of instances with black dots displaying the newest instances
Poultry farmers and people who deal with lifeless birds, resembling slaughterhouse employees, are thought of most in danger.
Devon man Alan Gosling, 79, was pressured into self-quarantine for 3 weeks after catching hen flu within the remaining weeks of 2021.
He finally made a full restoration however was heartbroken after a flock of geese he saved inside his home needed to be put down after contracting the virus.
A DEFRA spokesman stated the birds killed represented only a fraction of the billion consumed by the British public every year.
They insisted there have been ‘no considerations’ over the availability of Christmas meat.