Feeds

Hunt for bird flu source goes on

The Hungarian connection

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Government investigators are racing to uncover the source of the Suffolk bird flu outbreak which has seen 160,000 turkeys slaughtered in a mass cull expected to end this morning.

Identifying the source of the virus is key to containing its further spread.

Suspicion has naturally fallen on the most recent European appearance of the H5N1 strain in Hungary, which has suffered a cluster of cases in the last month. Bernard Matthews, the food group which owns the Suffolk turkey facility hit by Britain's first confirmed outbreak of the disease, also owns a large Hungarian farming company.

According to The Guardian, a Bernard Matthews spokesman said: "All our birds are British. The fact that we have a Hungarian operation is immaterial. It is very unlikely. It's a complete mystery to us. We have the highest biosafety standards of anyone. We are waiting for Defra to finish its investigations and they will tell us the likely cause."

DEFRA said it would probe the Hungarian connection. It is maintaining an 807 square mile exclusion zone around the farm and is monitoring local wild bird populations, though Japan has already temporarily suspended UK poultry imports.

The arrival of the virus in Britain has long been expected, though vets first suspected E. coli bacteria when birds started dying last week.

H5N1 has killed more than 150 people worldwide since emerging in southern Chinese province Guandong in 1996. All those victims are thought to have had close contact with infected birds. There is no sign yet of the evolutionary jump H5N1 would need to perform for human to human transmission to become a global pandemic similar to the 1918 bird flu, which is estimated to have killed about 18 million.

More here at the BBC. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.