Two people have tested positive for bird flu in the UK, it has been confirmed tonight. These are the first human cases of bird flu in the UK since 2021.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says both people are poultry workers and contracted bird flu after coming into contact with infected animals.

The asymptomatic people tested positive after recently working on an infected poultry farm in England. They have since tested negative and close contacts have been notified.

Professor Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, said: “Current evidence suggests that the avian influenza viruses we are seeing circulating in birds around the world do not spread easily to people.

“However, we already know that the virus can spread to people after close contact with infected birds and that is why, through screening programs like this one, we are monitoring people who have been exposed to learn more about it. risk”.

He added: “Globally, there is no evidence of person-to-person spread of this strain, but we know that viruses evolve all the time and we remain vigilant for any evidence of changing risk to the population.

“It remains critical that people avoid touching sick or dead birds.”

In Britain, there have been more than 330 outbreaks of bird flu on the country’s poultry farms since October 2021, resulting in the culling of millions of birds in a “totally unprecedented” outbreak.

The World Health Organization has said the world “must prepare” for bird flu, which could soon no longer pose a low risk to humans.

He has urged countries to increase surveillance of areas where humans and animals interact. It also works to ensure that supplies of vaccines and antivirals are available if the situation worsens.

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