Human case of bird flu detected in England

The Health Security Agency has confirmed that a case of avian influenza has been found in a person in the South West of England.

Whilst bird-to-human transmission of avian flu is very rare, and has previously only occurred a small number of times in the UK and elsewhere, the individual acquired the infection from very close, regular contact with a large number of infected birds, which were kept in and around their home.

Professor Isabel Oliver, chief scientific officer at UKHSA, said: “Currently there is no evidence that this strain detected in the UK can spread from person to person, but we know that viruses evolve all the time and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We have followed up all of this individual’s contacts and have not identified any onward spread.

“It remains critical that people do not touch sick or dead birds, and that they follow the DEFRA advice about reporting.”

The individual is reported to be well and is understood to be self-isolating.

Local health protection teams in England can be accessed here via a postcode search: https://www.gov.uk/health-protection-team

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