First Brit infected with bird flu as major new outbreak in England confirmed

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The first British person has been infected with bird flu following a major outbreak among the avian population.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed the first human case of avian influenza has been found in an unidentified person in the South West of England.

The agency said there had been a confirmed case of bird flu in a person in the South West of England.

The UKHSA said the risk to the wider public from avian flu continues to be very low but said people should not touch sick or dead birds.

In a statement, it said: "Bird to human transmission of avian flu is very rare and has only occurred a small number of times in the UK previously.

"The person acquired the infection from very close, regular contact with a large number of infected birds, which they kept in and around their home over a prolonged period of time.

"All contacts of the individual, including those who visited the premises, have been traced and there is no evidence of onward spread of the infection to anyone else. The individual is currently well and self-isolating."

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The transmission of bird to human of avian flu is still very rare and in the UK alone, it has only occurred a small number of times.

The country has recently seen a large number of outbreaks and incidents of avian influenza in birds across the country , with reports of the H5N1 strain and APHA.

The news of a human case comes after about one million birds have been culled to stop the spread of bird flu in Lincolnshire following outbreaks in the region in December, the BBC reports.

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The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recently gave a warning over the spread of bird flu across Europe and Asia, saying there was a higher chance of it also spreading to humans.

OIE Director General Monique Eloit said: "This time the situation is more difficult and more risky because we see more variants emerge, which make them harder to follow.

"Eventually the risk is that it mutates or that it mixes with a human flu virus that can be transmitted between humans then suddenly it takes on a new dimension."

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