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Archive for Friday, April 7, 2006

Britain confirms first bird flu case

April 7, 2006

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— Britain confirmed its first case of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in a wild swan on Thursday, setting the stage for concerns the disease could spread across the Atlantic.

The swan was found in the Scottish town of Cellardyke, more than 450 miles north of London, according to Scotland's chief veterinary officer, Charles Milne. Health officials said the case poses no serious risks to public health but the government began restricting poultry movement and implementing a 965-square-mile "wild bird risk area" around the site where the infected swan was found.

The deadly virus has not been found in domestic British poultry, although an imported parrot from Suriname died in quarantine from the strain last year.

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