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Health expert warns there ‘will probably be human cases’ of bird flu

Health expert warns there ‘will probably be human cases’ of bird flu

A leading health expert warns there ‘will probably be human cases’ of bird flu as Defra confirms duck farm outbreak is same strain as in Germany and Netherlands

The Mirror Reports: Humans could be infected with bird flu after thousands of ducks were killed on a Yorkshire farm at the centre of a UK outbreak.

A leading health expert said ‘we will probably see some human cases’ after it emerged the virus found at the duck breeding farm was the “highly pathogenic” H5N8 strain of avian flu.

The World Health Organization has now said new cases of bird flu are likely to hit other bird populations and may infect humans.

WHO expert Elizabeth Mumford said: “I think we will probably see some human cases. I don’t see why we wouldn’t. If it’s really circulating widely, there’s no reason we shouldn’t see human cases.”

She added: “We believe any time that humans are in close contact with poultry, there’s a possibility of transmission to humans.”

It is believed the outbreak in Yorkshire is linked to a similar one in the Netherlands and may have been spread by a migrating bird.

The farm operated by Cherry Valley in Nafferton, near Driffield, East Yorkshire, provides eggs which are then sent to another of the company’s farms to be bred.

Most of the animals are destined to be Peking duck in Chinese catering operations in the UK and Europe.

A six-mile restriction zone has been put in place around the farm.

Yesterday government vets visited dozens of other poultry farming operations in the area to check other animals.

If the disease spreads there are fears the Christmas turkey industry could be affected.