UK identifies rare case of avian flu in a human

Health officials in Britain say they have identified a rare case of avian flu in a person, as the country battles its largest-ever outbreak of the virus among birds. Israel is also experiencing a major outbreak of the disease.

Transmission of avian flu from bird to human is very rare and has previously only occurred a small number of times in Britain, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says.

The infected individual, in southwest England, is said to be “well” and is self-isolating, it adds.

“The person acquired the infection from very close, regular contact with a large number of infected birds, which they kept in and around their home over a prolonged period of time,” the UKHSA says in a statement.

“All contacts of the individual, including those who visited the premises, have been traced and there is no evidence of onward spread of the infection to anyone else.”

The agency notes the risk to the wider public from avian flu remains “very low,” but cautions people not to touch sick or dead birds.

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