Bird flu update

In the last four weeks there has only been one identified case of bird flu in wild birds in the UK and that was a Mute Swan in Somerset towards the beginning of that 4-week period.  DEFRA state that earlier in the year there were as many as 55 dead birds per week being submitted for testing and that number dropped to as few as 10 in early April.

DEFRA also state ‘The rate of disease reporting broadly across the EU has not decreased significantly in the last few weeks. Wild birds are still being found dead and testing positive, while there are still uncertainties around the level of infection present in apparently healthy wild waterfowl or in species such as corvids, passerines, gulls and others including birds of prey.‘.

Well, yes, there will be uncertainty around the level of infection of healthy birds unless someone tests apparently healthy birds for the H5N8 virus, and this doesn’t seem to be happening in any sort of coordinated way across the EU. So we won’t learn much information – and I’ll remind you of that next time we have an outbreak.

It seems likely, but not certain, that we have come to the end of the bird flu outbreak for this winter. It will be back.


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