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Public risk from bird flu outbreak ‘low’

Strain not deadly to humans confirmed at Yorkshire duck farm

Officials moved yesterday to reassure the public that the risk to health from the first serious outbreak of bird flu for six years is "very low."

A case of the virus has been confirmed at a duck breeding farm in Nafferton in East Yorkshire, but it is not the H5N1 strain which has caused deaths in humans.

All birds on the farm are to be culled in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease and a 5.6-mile restriction zone has been put in place around the site, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

It is the first serious case of bird flu since 2008, when virulent H7N7 was found in free-range laying hens near Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Officials believe the latest outbreak may be German or Dutch in origin and the transport of both poultry and eggs throughout the Netherlands was suspended yesterday after an outbreak was confirmed at a chicken farm in Hekendorp, Utrecht province.

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