AVIAN FLU

Keep up to date with the very latest information regarding Avian Flu in the U.K and find out what YTB is doing to alleviate the potential impact on the Yorkshire Tourism Industry.

Avian Flu – Definition

The definition of Avian Flu is as follows:

“Avian influenza is a highly infectious disease affecting many species of birds, including commercial, wild and pet birds. It may also affect people and other animals in certain circumstances. It is caused by a Type A influenza virus.

All viruses can be classified according to their ability to cause severe disease (pathogenicity) as either highly pathogenic or low pathogenic. Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAI) can cause severe disease in susceptible birds and low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAI) generally cause mild disease or no disease at all. Avian influenza is one of the most important poultry diseases, and serious outbreaks of disease have been reported in many countries. In the U.K. it was last confirmed in a flock of 8,000 turkeys in Norfolk back in 1991. The U.K. has also had a recent case of HPAI in a bird quarantine facility.”

Avian Flu – The Hype

There is much media speculation about Avian Flu and the potential threat to both the bird and human population of Britain. While some people have contracted Avian Flu from birds, it does not have the ability to spread from human to human. However, it is possible that Avian Flu could mutate to a human form of the virus, but this has not happened yet and may never happen.

It is important to keep perspective on this issue. Dr Richard Pleass, a parasite immunology expert at Nottingham University has said:

“Since 1997 approximately 65 people have died of it. In this time six million children have died from Malaria for which there are few effective drugs and no immediate prospect of an effective vaccine. Before we all get too obsessed about avian flu we should ask how under-developed countries deal with their daily crises”

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