UK says bird flu cases are deadly H5N1 strain

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LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) Britain's farm ministry today said that a bird flu outbreak on a turkey farm in eastern England was the deadly H5N1 strain.

Acting UK Chief Veterinary Officer Fred Landeg confirmed the highly virulent strain at a briefing in London, adding that a 3-km protection zone and a 10-km surveillance zone were in place.

Officials began slaughtering thousands of turkeys at the farm today.

''A full epidemiological investigation is underway and all potential sources will be investigated,'' Landeg said, adding that it was too early to speculate on what the source of the outbreak might be.

Landeg urged vigilance from poultry keepers, asking them to stay on the lookout for the disease and to report symptoms quickly.

The H5N1 strain has killed more than 200 people worldwide since 2003 and millions of birds have either died from it or been killed to prevent its spread.


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