May 17, 2023 10.45 am This story is over 10 months old

Bird flu confirmed in poultry farm near Scunthorpe

Two UK poultry workers also tested positive yesterday

Bird flu has been detected at a farm near Scunthorpe in the first Lincolnshire outbreak for several months.

A protection zone, which stops the movement of birds, has been established around the commercial farm near West Butterwick.

All birds will be humanely culled to stop the spread of the H5N1 virus.

A statement by the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs says: “Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed on May 16 2023 in commercial poultry at a premises near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire. 

“A 3km protection zone and a 10 km surveillance zone have been declared around the premises.”

A previous case had been identified near Doncaster.

Current bird flu protection and surveillance zones in Lincolnshire | Photo: APHA

Two UK poultry workers tested positive for the virus after coming in contact with infected birds, the UK Health Security Agency confirmed yesterday.

The location of this hasn’t been confirmed, but the government has reassured the public that there are no signs the virus has being transmitted between humans.

The UK has experienced its worst ever outbreak of bird flu over the last two years, with the virus spreading quickly through wild populations. 

Over a million Lincolnshire poultry have been culled to date after positive tests.

Prof Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at UKHSA, said yesterday: “Current evidence suggests that the avian influenza viruses we’re seeing circulating in birds around the world do not spread easily to people.

Thousands of chickens were culled after a bird flu outbreak in Lincolnshire. | Photo: Open Cages

“However, we know already that the virus can spread to people following close contact with infected birds and this is why, through screening programmes like this one, we are monitoring people who have been exposed, to learn more about this risk.”

Both people who tested positive have now tested negative, and didn’t experience any symptoms.

It’s unclear whether they had inhaled material containing the virus, which had given a false positive. Contact tracing was carried out as a precaution.

Information on the latest bird flu situation and how restrictions may affect you are available on the government website.

You can report dead birds to APHA on 03459 33 55 77.

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