British bird flu outbreak confirmed as H5N8 strain

The strain of bird flu discovered at a duck farm in northern England is H5N8, the same as confirmed in outbreaks in Germany and the Netherlands, the environment ministry said Tuesday.

"The strain has now been confirmed as H5N8, which is a very low risk to human health and no risk to the food chain," the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said in a statement.

Some 6,000 ducks are being culled at the breeding farm in east Yorkshire following the confirmation of the outbreak on Sunday, and a 10-kilometre (six-mile) restriction zone has been put up around the site.

News that authorities are dealing with the same subtype of a highly infectious strain of as seen in continental Europe will increase speculation that the outbreaks are linked.

H5N8 also appears to be similar to a virus that has been infecting birds in China, Japan and South Korea since the beginning of the year, the World Health Organization said.

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© 2014 AFP

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