Third worker tested for bird flu

A THIRD worker has been tested for bird flu, it emerged this afternoon.The Health Protection Agency (HPA) the latest person also had symptoms that could indicate the possibility of avian influenza and which required further investigation.

A THIRD worker has been tested for bird flu, it emerged this afternoon.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) the latest person also had symptoms that could indicate the possibility of avian influenza and which required further investigation.

This takes the tally of testing negative for avian flu to three.

Dr Jonathan Van Tam, a flu expert at the Agency said: “The risk of any workers testing positive for avian flu is very low as they have followed all the necessary precautions in terms of protective clothing, hygiene measures and have been offered antiviral drugs. We are however expecting to see a number of workers with symptoms caused by other respiratory viruses over the coming week as this is the time of year when we see an increase in these infections. We will asses these cases as they occur and expect to be carrying out more testing through the course of this week.

“It is important to remember that H5N1avian flu remains largely a disease of birds. The virus does not transmit easily to humans, as evidenced by the 270 or so confirmed infections worldwide to date, versus the millions of people exposed to poultry everyday in SE Asia.

“Almost all human H5N1 infections so far have been associated with close contact with dead or dying poultry and in all human cases there has been no evidence of efficient human to human transmission."

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