A man from the South West of England was recently infected with the bird flu virus. A case which is not unprecedented but which remains particularly rare.
“The person contracted the infection as a result of very close and regular contact with a large number of infected birds, which he kept in and around his house for an extended period,” the agency said last Thursday. British Health Safety Authority (UKHSA).
The man has not infected anyone around him and is doing well. He is currently in segregation.
“All of the individual’s contacts, including those who visited the premises, have been traced and there is no evidence of further spread of the infection to anyone else. The individual is currently doing well and is self-isolating, ”the agency added.
A vast campaign of tests carried out
This infection was detected as part of a campaign of tests carried out in people in contact with farms infected by the virus. This is where “low levels of the flu” were discovered.
Laboratory analysis has shown that the patient has indeed been infected with the virus type “H5”, which is normally found in birds, but it has not yet been confirmed that it is the virus “H5N1”. , which is currently circulating in the United Kingdom.
“Although the risk of avian influenza to the general public is very low, we know that certain strains have the potential to spread to humans and that is why we have put in place robust systems to detect them early and take action. . ”Said Isabel Oliver, UKHSA Scientific Director.
Currently, there is no evidence that the strain present in the UK can spread from person to person. However, according to Isabel Oliver, “Viruses are evolving all the time and we continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Last December, British poultry farmers were urged to help stop the spread of the virus. Thousands of birds were then slaughtered.