HPSC is monitoring the situation regarding Avian Influenza in Wales

Published:

A smallholding in North Wales is at the centre of an outbreak of avian influenza. The influenza virus responsible for the outbreak is influenza A H7N2, a strain of low pathogenicity, which generally causes mild illness in birds and has been associated in the past with only mild illness in humans.

All movements on and off the premises have been prohibited since 23 May 2007 and a 1 km restriction zone around the farm was put in place. All the poultry on the farm were culled.

The National Public Health Service (NPHS) for Wales is currently investigating a number of people who were associated with the incident who have experienced either flu like symptoms or conjunctivitis. As of 29 May 2007, 13 avian flu contacts had been identified who have or have flu like illness or conjunctivitis. No one is seriously ill and the risk to the general public is low. People who have had prolonged close contact with infected poultry and/or people associated with the outbreak have been offered a 10 day course of antiviral medication called Tamiflu.

Despite this incident the current level of risk to humans from H7N2 remains extremely low. Nonetheless, any possibility of exposure is taken very seriously and the National Public Health Service for Wales is working closely with the Animal Health and Welfare department in the Welsh Assembly to ensure that all necessary actions are being taken to protect those people who may have been exposed to the virus. Further information may be obtained on the NPHS website.

General Information on Avian Influenza
The advice from the Department of Agriculture and Food in Ireland is not to handle dead or wild birds unless necessary. For queries relating to dead birds please contact the Department of Agriculture and Food on the Avian Influenza helpline: 1890 252 283.

At present, recommendations on travel, personal protection and food safety remain unchanged.  Current travel advice is available here. The WHO level of pandemic alert remains unchanged at phase 3. This is defined as a virus new to humans that is causing infections, but does not spread easily from one person to another. The latest updates from the WHO are available on the WHO website.

Further information on avian influenza is also available on the HPSC website.

Further updates are also available from: