LONDON — Britain has confirmed the first case of bird flu since 2008 after a strain of the virus that's deadly for chickens and highly contagious for other fowl was found in the Netherlands and Germany earlier this month.
The case yesterday was identified as a H5 variant and the H5N1 strain that infects humans has been ruled out, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement Monday. It was discovered at a duck feeding farm near Driffield in East Yorkshire, England.
"The public health risk is very low and there is no risk to the food chain," Defra said in the statement. "Investigations are now ongoing to discover whether the outbreak is linked to cases found in Netherlands and Germany."
The Netherlands and Germany found that the H5N8 variant was the strain of the disease in outbreaks on chicken and turkey farms this month. It's the first occurrence of this type of bird flu in Germany since March 2009, and the first case since 2003 in the Netherlands, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.
Tests are being conducted to detect the British case's exact strain, Defra said. A 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) restriction area has been undertaken to ban movement of poultry, products and waste, while all 6,000 birds on the farm will be culled.
The recent measures taken by authorities are adequate, Enrico Brivio, a European Commission spokesman for health and food safety, said in Brussels.
In Russia, an outbreak of the H5N1 strain started Sept. 1, the country's first since December 2012. It affected chickens, geese and ducks in two villages in Altai Krai region at the border with Kazakhstan.
The H5N8 variant has never been reported to have been transmitted from animals to humans, though this can't be ruled out in the future, Christian Lindmeier, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, said today by phone.